The Brighton, Sussex UK based electronic folk/chamber pop act NIGHT HOUSE (the main musical project of singer & composer NICK WILLIAMS, who, with friends, weaves double bass, cello & clarinet, electronic drums, synths, fender rhodes and densely layered vocals to create orb-like songs that possess heavenly sweetness) release their debut album “Everyone Is Watching From Afar” 27th March 2020 — a title that might have been chosen a while back yet seems so opportune today, in fact even poignantly apposite, given that the album launch show has been cancelled (along with everything else) and we all watch from afar.
We have already reported that the NIGHT HOUSE single (and opening track for the album) “To Be With” is a gentle and reverent ode to the act of remembering… and comes with a sad cello, icy key notes and a sweet, wine-tinged voice that’s filled with honey and fragrance.
“The Roots in the Wires” (video shared below) features Ellie Ford’s sensually incantatory harp-sounds and processes like a dream into a chancel of light and lilies. As Ellie’s amazing vocal drifts from the darkness, we understand the liquidity of time because we see how it can be modified by love. This piece is light and jazzy, but also soft and folksy, with hidden darkness and high emotion (like any church) and comes with the lightest touch of rhythm and the most wonderfully seductive voices you could ever wish for.
“Five Years Old” has a lively beat and sparkling accompaniments. The sliding guitar gives the piece a country & western flavor, as if the song could have been written by Glen Campbell (to celebrate a grandson, perhaps); although, of course, it’s sung with the high, agile register and subtle phrasing of a singer like Béatrice Martin (Cœur de Pirate) or even Julianne Regan (All About Eve.)
And “Blackout” has an ephemeral voice that gently skates on a skin of water…
“Bloodlines” might be about family bonds, but sounds as if it’s about “leaving” or at least about endings before much hoped-for sequels. A rushwork of simple percussive patterns becomes the foundation for this gloriously flourishing piece. The arrangement is impeccable, the musicianship sublime and the tonal patterns and melodic lines are memorable.
These aromatic compositions seem delicate at first glance, and could also be described as flirtatiously seductive at times, but that doesn’t detract from an underlying sense of brave emotion that is never inappropriate and often audacious. . .
Courage, it seems, emanates from shrouds of gossamer beauty.
File alongside: All About Eve or Sufjan Stevens
Words: @neilmach 2020 ©
Everyone Is Watching from Afar by Night House is out today 27 Mar 2020