During our six years of reviewing at Neonfiller the most memorable albums have been those with the ability to create a world and immerse the listener in it. While Owen Pallett did this with the fantastical on Heartland, one of our standout picks from 2010, often the best exponents of this conjure up worlds closer to home.
Darren Hayman did this wonderfully with his images of growing up in new town Britain on Pram Town (2009). So too did the Tigercats on their 2012 debut Isle of Dogs, which captured urban life for British 20 somethings perfectly.
Step forward Ralegh Long to join this list and take the listener into the world of the English countryside for this rural inspired collection of romantic and thoughtful songs.
The press release makes great play of this pastoral feel to this debut album from Long. As a writer who tends to review albums while dog walking in the English countryside it certainly passes my pastoral test, as Long’s whispering vocals, Jack Hayter’s weeping pedal steel merge gracefully with the bird song around me.
But it’s not just the feel to the album that is so appealing, it’s the songs as well. Tracks like No Use, Love Kills All Fear and The Light of the Sun stay with you long after the album has finished. Love Kills All Fear is a particular standout with its strong Prefab Sprout influence.
As well as capturing the mood of the countryside perfectly Long also reveals himself here as being a songwriter of great quality.
By Joe Lepper
Hoverance is released on Gare Du Nord records, the label Long runs alongside Ian Button (Papernut Cambridge) and Robert Rotifer.