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Excuses for Travellers

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With album number three, Mojave 3 delivers on what's always been promised. Its country-via-U.K. sound finds its way tucked between Nick Drake, Gene Clark, Cowboy Junkies, and Red House Painters. The music's lazy gait lets Neil Halstead's voice resonate nicely alongside lyrics that are equally effective as words with meaning and as pure sounds. "In Love with a View" purrs along for six minutes; it never feels like a stretch, but rather like a warm, soothing fire where the pedal steel guitars and piano crackle with comfort. Rachel Goswell emerges for the lead vocal on the quicker-stepping "Bringin' Me Home." However, this is mostly Halstead's show. His gentle whispers and unassuming vocals throughout "My Life in Art," "When You're Drifting," and the exquisitely sad rainy-day lullaby "She Broke You So Softly" dominate the atmosphere. It's a long way from his days as a daring and compelling shoegazer in Slowdive. His songwriting has blossomed into something new, and his tasteful arrangements make listening easy and rewarding. 

Biography

Formed: England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Between the recording and release of Slowdive's ambient Pygmalion, Neil Halstead began writing more song-based tunes to occupy down time. Weeks after being dropped by Creation, Halstead and the remaining members of Slowdive (Rachel Goswell and Ian McCutcheon) recorded six demos within three days, much of it live without overdubs. Their manager brought the tape to 4AD head Ivo Watts-Russell, who immediately gave the trio money to record more material. Feeling that the direction was too removed to...
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Excuses for Travellers, Mojave 3
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