Gwilym Gold, A Paradise - Album review

Download: Breathless; Uninvited; Muscle

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The Independent Culture

Formerly frontman of Golden Silvers, with A Paradise Gwilym Gold joins the ranks of neo-soulsters like James Blake, creating the most barren of sonic backdrops from sparse piano chords and glitchy rhythm programmes for his fragile falsetto.

At times, like on the opening “A Greener World”, he has the raw, emotional frailty of Thom Yorke, but most often he layers his vocal plaints in banked harmonies, as on the tender “Breathless”.

And when Nico Muhly’s subtle orchestrations are involved, most notably over the resonant electric piano of “Uninvited”, where Gold’s trilling pleas to be “let go” are airily buoyed by strings, his voice takes on something of Robert Wyatt’s vulnerability. That song’s lyric, “There’s something dreamlike in these surroundings”, could be the mission statement for the album.

Soothing stuff; but there’s too little variety to counteract the general tendency towards stasis.