Tag Archives: piano

Dan Ecclestone – Hidden Music, LP released 8 January 2021

A solo debut release for singer/songwriter Dan Ecclestone, last heard as part of Ember Rev on their 2019 album (see review here).

1.Half of All We See Are Shadows. The opener sets the pace and palette for the collection; acoustic instruments enhance the piano as Dan’s voice conjures up lost days, recollections and connections. The imagery is beguiling ‘….watch the lights flicker down there….as there in the shallows tiny minnows dance as if flames in a fire…’ before a soaring chorus ‘…..all the world was watching us that day….’. Unrestrained by too firm a structure the song ebbs and flows, allowing atmosphere and expression to come through.

2. Cri Du Coeur. This starts by showing how effective a simple piano/vocal structure can be then the track sends the listener into a different direction as the strings and drums create an expansive soundscape.

3. Approaching Silence. A wistful musing on regret and the passing of time, built around the opening line ‘…as I approach the age my father died…’, with minimalist keyboard before a sudden stop to this thoughtful minute and a half.

4. King of Lands of Skies and Sea. The musical centrepiece of the album, a calming opus springing from the evocative title. The unhurried verses evolve into the grand chorus with the chamber orchestra at full stretch then dying away to beautiful effect.

5. This Uphill River. Recalling the edgy polyrhythms of Ember Rev this track increases the pace of the collection, pushed on by a spiking drum pattern battling with soothing strings and brass. Dan’s restless vocal drives and binds all the elements of the song together.

6. I Forever Dream of Home. With just piano and voice the finale is a jazzy, late night meditation, tinged with melancholy but there is an undercurrent of hope. The recurring line ‘…….will you still be there when I get home…..’ lingers in the memory as this excellent album concludes.

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German Shepherd Records – Different Noises For Your Ears

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Soham De : About Happier Things, EP released September 2020

A new EP from UK singer/songwriter Soham De. It is a follow-up to ‘Blue’, a stripped back trio of songs released in June this year. Much of the music previously recorded by Soham De has been a melding of his heartfelt words with a variety of instrumentation; on all the tracks here it is just piano and voice.

1. Someone Else. The piano introduction is subtle then the voice fades in for this mellow song, when the killer chorus arrives the desperation of the narrator is almost painful. ‘….I end up losing out each time…so what have I got to do? what have I got to lose?….’

2. MM DD. The piano embellishments and chord changes almost steal the show in this short, sparse plea from the heart, with the vocal going from a whisper to a roar.

3. Leave A Light On. With an extended lyrical exploration of the idea of desertion and regret the keyboard echoes the hurt in the unresolved words ‘….we were stepping stones avoiding going down the waterfall….we won’t last…..if you don’t take my hand again…’

4. About Happier Things. A flowing instrumental centrepiece to the collection, perhaps portraying the waterfall in the previous track but essentially showing what a beautiful sound a solo (acoustic?) piano can capture.

5. A Loving Friend In Life. Using the fragile timbres of his voice to great effect on this stylish pop ballad, SD weaves the verses into a warm bluesy chorus; this is my favourite track on the EP.

6. Changing. A stately and emotion-filled bookend to the collection, the rolling piano chords and dynamics bring out the hurt in the vocal. It is a big finish to this involving and deeply personal set of songs.

https://www.sohamde.com/