Dustin O' Halloran- Lumiere
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'lemon bon-bons, rose-tinted spectacles and reminisced first dates all rolled into one...'
‘Michael Jackson’s dead. Get over it!’
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Released Date- 28/02/2011
Released on: 13701 Records
Posted In Gobshout News, Aug 18 2010
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Oasis Svengali Revealed Instrumentals. To these ears those this word can mean one of two things; that the music held within those grooves will be primarily electronic and even though there can be appreciation for it from these quarters, this is likely to be limited until the music is ingested amongst other incendiary sensory-invaders, enhancers and wulrwitzers in a small room with speakers the size of Amsterdam and a strangers friendly tongue in the ear. Alternatively, it could be the naff, throwaway B-Side of an average track by an average indie band that know they’ll never be good enough to write a tune like Bigger Boys and Stolen Sweethearts, so instead they just don’t bother.
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Thankfully Dustin O’Halloran makes a mockery of these narrow-minded, ill-experienced prejudices with Lumiere, an album that, thus far, might be the best thing released this year.
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What’s so special about it? It’s the way it straddles sadness and joy seamlessly, the way that (seemingly simple but obviously not) instrumentation can work together to produce something as emotive as anything written by the traditional wordsmiths and scribes I’m choosing not to name here for fear of reprisal in the comments below. A song like Quartet No2 is the understated younger brother of Adagio for Strings, except it’s the one that doesn’t shout quite so loudly at the dinner table and is all the more appreciated for it. Deep mournful strings float into the periphery, each instrument vying for it’s place at the forefront, before backing down and acknowledging that it’s part of a bigger picture. As it wends its way to the end it becomes just a single violin, slowly and deliberately played in a chord I don’t know the name of. But that doesn’t matter, because within that violin is melancholy incarnate.
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The fact that there are violins and strings is a departure for O’Halloran, whose previous two albums (like Lumiere, both released on Fat Cat’s 130701 imprint) were solo piano works. And there are times in his current album where he goes back to his old ways, the wonderful Opus 44 being one of them. How one man can make a single instrument so evocative is beyond a simple soul as yours truly, but if ever there was a song to soundtrack what every man who doesn’t have a child thinks fatherhood (minus the nappies) will be like, it is this.
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If Opus 44 brings to mind fatherhood Fragile No4 does the same with, somewhat fittingly, fragility. The notes I wrote when listening to this song were (excuse the pomposity) “the soundtrack to the best dream you ever had as a child, or the best break-up you had as an adult.” The rising tones of the piano zig-zag with the violins, before an interlude from something that sounds like a xylophone but probably isn’t takes us on another tangent that the gently triumphant piano finishes. It is bitter and sweet; lemon bon-bons, rose-tinted spectacles and reminisced first dates all rolled into one. It’s an incredible track, and if the description (as with the rest of this review) is a little flighty due to lack of technical knowledge, you’ll just have to take it as read that it’ll make you feel the same.
Posted In Features, Dec 20 2010
'just him, his guitars and a chair...' BBC Sound Of 2011 Posted In Features, Dec 17 2010
possibly a Happy New Year ahead...
8.5/10 Posted In Album Reviews, Mar 03 2011. Words - Jimbo
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