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Album review: Gravenhurst - Flashlight Seasons/Black Holes/Offerings: Lost Songs 2000-2004

PUBLISHED: 12:30 05 December 2014

Gravenhurst - Flashlight Seasons/Black Holes In The Sand/Offerings: Lost Songs 2000-2004

Gravenhurst - Flashlight Seasons/Black Holes In The Sand/Offerings: Lost Songs 2000-2004

Archant

Gravenurst’s lauded Nick Talbot, whose tragic death aged 37 was announced this morning, releases unheard material and two early albums that only reinforce his talents.

Released to celebrate a decade of Gravenhurst’s Nick Talbot being with Warp, two early albums from 2004 are packaged with a third of unreleased material, including eight new songs.

Critically lauded but commercially overlooked, Flashlight Seasons and its six-track follow-up have lost none of their otherworldly, intoxicating quality.

The former’s dextrous, finger-picked acoustic guitar earned Talbot justified comparisons to Nick Drake, while the latter’s dark, pastoral psychedelia headed into lo-fi territory.

The gloaming, elemental quality of the third disc’s title track typifies a collection of warm, intimate, lilting, accessible, evocative and highly accomplished pieces.

The Citizen’s lament of urban alienation stands out, but even through ponderous instrumentals – the disconcerting atmospherics of Abeline/Still Water Outro meander towards eight minutes – each casts a strong enough spell and make for a cohesive whole.

Rating: 4/5

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