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Album Review

This five-song EP is a lovely complement to Halstead's grand debut solo album. On the surface, only two songs are new, but even the three that are familiar titles are reasonably different experiences. The title track appears in two new guises: It's just as summer-breeze-tempting done "Surf Style" as the LP version, and a rethink remix finds it presented in a third light — not as light and airy, and infused with a light backbeat groove, scratchy guitar, and female backing vocals, which twice give way to a completely different spaghetti western bridge. The alternate version of "See You on Rooftops" might be better than the sweet LP one, as it relies even more on the circular-pattern picking on the acoustic, and a slightly more relaxed tempo/feel that makes it really sigh and hum. "Sailing Man" and especially "Between the Bars" satisfy and are easily of the LP's standard. The former is full of spatial quiet and the latter folky prize, recorded live at an acoustic gig in Liverpool, shows that there's plenty more in Halstead's pen. Indeed, "Between the Bars" is one of those tracks that hints of cowboy solitude, evoking dusty roads on the old West's deserts/plains: Time passing as the horse walks slowly, the water is scarce, and the throat and heart are equally dry. But the lyrics are not of that travelogue, they're instead full of regret and hankering for that someone who made a singular impression you can't shake. "Still remembered how you danced/Laughing hard between the bars/You always were pretty good at getting high for someone so small/Swear I won't let go this time." It makes you want to go back and find that person; it makes you want to find this EP.


Born: 07 October 1970 in England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Since releasing some of the finest shoegaze singles and albums of the early '90s with his band Slowdive, Neil Halstead has slowly become one of Britain's most respected songwriters. While Slowdive had more to do with sounds than songs, the transition that band made into Mojave 3 in the mid-'90s allowed Halstead to further emulate the largely late-'60s-based folk-rock songwriters with whom he had become enamored. Along the way, Halstead did something of a tightrope act by earning comparisons to those...
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Seasons, Neil Halstead
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