Bannerman: The Bannerman EP (Nice Like Pie/Rhythmethod)

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Bannerman: Head Like a River
Bannerman: The Bannerman EP (Nice Like Pie/Rhythmethod)

Bannerman is not former Sneaky Feelings/Dribbling Darts frontman Matthew Bannister as I assumed on seeing this EP, rather it is Richard Setford who was the mainman behind Auckland's large soul-funk outfit One Million Dollars and its offspring Batucada Sound Machine, two party-large bands that had punters up and dancing.
Time for a sitdown though folks because this lo-fi, seven song collection is (mostly) some distance from those two bands -- although Setford still has an ear for a finger-snappin' groove (the slick and expansive pop of Head Like A River).
However on what feels like a sampler and promise of further installments, there are songs of quiet introversion (notably the brooding opener House of One), subtle ambient and atmospheric pieces, alt-folk and mostly songs which have an upward trajectory (whether that be in increasing emotional density or sonic power).
The eight minute centrepiece Gone A Little Grief hints at Eno/prog-rock as it opens, moves through fragile and melodic balladry over softly chiming pastoral guitar and then in the second half starts to move towards an astral plane before paring right back to pointillistic keyboards. Very smart stuff.
Without even knowing of his former bands you'd have to say on the evidence of these diverse tracks that you will be hearing a lot more from Bannerman.
And that is going to be a good thing.

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