ALBUM REVIEW: Willis Earl Beal – Nocturnes | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Tender Loving Empire

Released: 28.8.15

More information on Willis Earl Beal’s official website

Emerging with a clutch of lo-fi recordings that sounded less like Tom Waits songs than the songs a Tom Waits character might write, Willis Earl Beal made for an idiosyncratic major league performer. Now away from XL (to mutual relief, by all accounts), Beal is free to pursue his muse down whatever curious tangent it may fall down. Hence, Nocturnes: an hour-long set that fuses Beal’s downbeat blues croon to new age synth washes. These barren, quasi-ambient pieces work not so much in singular but in cumulative turns – listening to No Solution or Flying So Low separately might offer little, but taken as a whole Nocturnes weaves a peculiar, immersive atmosphere. Both opulent and solitary, Nocturnes is a surreal, subtly affecting album.

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