The Hermit’s Spyglass – Ben Bedford (reviewed by T. Bebedor)

Rarely have a I heard such an intimate album as this, you’re invited into a closed world, a snap shot of music played out in real time, almost as if the music is being made up on the spot and being revealed as and when things happen.

This is the music of Ben Bedford and its stark arrangements of one voice and one guitar will warm even the coldest mornings because the three jobs of singer, songwriter and musician are all handled with skill, this is a man who can paint lyrical pictures and deliver them with the correct musical background.

We open with ‘Morning Rise’ a short track at a little over one minute that introduces us to the theme of the album, which is an invitation to sit with Bedford (and his companion, Darwin the cat) as the morning unfolds before them, we’re treated to the description of a passing falcon, the surrounding fauna reacting to the new days sun and the impending ‘Thunderstorm’, there is time for the ‘Morning Coffee’ and nearby animals in the shape of ‘The Mule and the Horse’ but it’s the passing of time that is the real winner here. There is no rush and we’re encouraged to slow down and take in the surroundings more carefully and accept that not only are we surrounded by the natural world, we’re also part of it.

The songs are stripped back to only two sounds, Bedford’s voice and the steal-string guitar bringing a sharp tone to counter the comfort in his voice.

It’s an album for headphones and a comfortable spot away from the rest of the world.

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