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Album Review

As Klive and Nigel Humberstone's remarkable musical partnership reaches its 25th year, the minds behind In the Nursery celebrate with another striking album, Era. Though the title is suggestive of a compilation or overview, the brothers instead create another collection of new songs, based around themes of architecture and urban design, easily including some of their most dramatic work yet in the process. The sweeping electronic/orchestral romanticism that has defined most of their albums remains intact but there is a new fluidity that's quite compelling. The opening "Blueprint" demonstrates this brilliantly, familiar elements such as Dolores C. Marguerite's voice and strong drumming (provided in part by David Elektrik), not to mention storming, swooping strings, shot through with low textured murmurs and an almost disorienting mix. The suggestion is of monumentalism given a dreamlike quality, an appropriate start for the album. The other featured vocalist is Sarah Jay Hawley, whose cool, soulful delivery on three songs adds yet another twist to the established ItN atmosphere, further emphasizing tensions between structure and organic unfolding. Klive Humberstone returns to singing more than he has in some time, with occasional backing parts matched by a full lead performance on "Silent in Time," perhaps fittingly one of the album's high points thanks to its rolling, eve-of-battle arrangement. Other featured performers include returning veteran Henrik Linnermann on flute and Liz Hanks on cello, whose work on songs like "Material and Form" adds even more haunting, elegant depth. Quite why the Humberstones have still never been commissioned for a full new film soundtrack remains a mystery to this day, but between recent silent film work and this new effort, In the Nursery remains a defiantly strong and ever more unique band.

Biography

Formed: 1981 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Formed in Sheffield, England by brothers Klive and Nigel Humberstone in 1981, In the Nursery explored a strange fusion of industrialized military rhythms and classical and film soundtrack music. Devoted more to the former in their early years, the band debuted in 1983 with the mini-album When Cherished Dreams Come True, also contributing to several compilations over the next two years. After the 1985 Temper EP, the group's initial lineup had evaporated, leaving only the Humberstone brothers to record...
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Era, In the Nursery
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