neil-halstead-palindrome-hunches Released in 2012 this album really comes into its own in late Summer and early Autumn. There is a September warmth to the songs and recordings, and a sense of melancholy for days and loves of yesterday.  When listened in total one can feel the cooler Autumnal days moving in, the crisp days ahead and nights spent under blankets…. neil-halstead

Halstead is a grand traveler and often talks of how his travels influence his songs and the stories he tells.  Perhaps this was done best in his Americana by way of Cornwall Mojave 3 (We think Spoon and Rafter one of our favorite driving albums), but the stories are here in spades as well.  From “Kansas City Girl in an Irish bar” to the tale of a one armed pianist on “Witgenstein’s arm” there is reward for listening to Halstead’s clever wordplay.  Still, close listening isn’t necessary as one thing that Halstead has always done best (from the shoegaze electric drone of his Slowdive years to the alt americana of the aforementioned Mojave 3) is to create lush, emotive soundscapes… this is driving music, music to ponder, and music to draw things in close as the days shorten and a years reflection is upon us.

Neil Halstead 0612

Halstead’s hushed tones, soft voice, and quiet picking bring to mind Nick Drake.  If Nick Drake had relaxed a bit and taken up surfing….unquestionably English and unquestionably good. 20100326-neil-halstead-bondi

Stand out tracks include:

Digging Shelters

Bad Drugs and Minor Chords

Wittgenstein’s Arm

Spin the Bottle

Palindrome Hunches

And yes….rumors have finally come true and Halstead is touring with  Slowdive this autumn.  Catch them if you can….