Harpo Dell – Harpo Dell (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

12744288_10153948524482744_7085159290945774276_nSome bands feel the need to fill the space allotted to them with every trick in the book, layering sound upon sound, texture upon texture until the actual shape of what they are creating descends into a morass of claustrophobic intent. Harpo Dell take a much more honest route. Armed largely with just an acoustic guitar and vocal they work with space allowing the pauses between their words and music to resound just as powerfully with atmosphere, anticipation, lingering notes, breathing and other less tangible qualities.

The result is a set of songs, which sound like an intimate live performance, a stripped back delivery which would sound just as at home at a late night house party gathering as it would before the hushed masses of a stadium audience. Its minimal delivery makes it difficult to pin any genre to their work, those who need to hang a label on their music will find themselves baffled, though at a push you will find moments of unashamed rock, European gypsy folk vibes, late night jazz and old school music hall sounds flitting through the songs, less by design but more due to a shared, back to basics approach to making music.

In a world where anything is possible thanks to modern recording techniques, where any artist can be dressed up into the next big thing, where music can be enhanced beyond the players own capabilities, it is refreshing to come across players who turn their back on all of those options and remember the simple and effective pleasure of making honest, wilfully unreconstructed music .

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About Dave Franklin

Musician, scribbler, historian, gnostic, seeker of enlightenment, asker of the wrong questions, delver into the lost archives, fugitive from the law of averages, blogger, quantum spanner, left footed traveller, music journalist, zenarchist, freelance writer, reviewer and gemini. People have woken up to worse.
This entry was posted in acoustica, folk, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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