Mark Howden: Horizons (Waht)

 |   |  <1 min read

Mark Howden: Pattern Blue
Mark Howden: Horizons (Waht)

Auckland singer-songwriter Howden appeared previously with two short albums: one of him in rock band mode, the other more of the acoustic persuasion, both under the name The Black Leaf.

This new album (Horizons may be the title or the nom de disque) is an extension of the acoustic direction in dreamy, literate songs which recall the atmospheric folk-pop of Neil Halstead's wonderful Sleeping on Roads, and that's a big compliment because Halstead's is an Essential Elsewhere album.

With an acoustic backdrop of fingerpicking but some deftly weaving electric guitar throughout, a touch of piano and some tonal electronics, Horizons explores the mystical aspects of love, life and the great unknown.

But this isn't introverted bedroom-folk, more like ambiguous poetry set to song and delivered with gentle warmth because the object of his affections (real or imagined) has brought out the best in the singer's character.

And through the production, Howden's voice seems slightly distant in most places which adds an extra level of interest as it becomes another insrument providing a melodic line even when the words elude you.

The final track, the seven-minute multi-layered Belong recorded live, shows he can do this outside of the home studio too.

Howden may be hiding his light under different names (or even anonymous in this case if Horizons is the album title) and a slightly confusing record label spelling, but it's a pleasure to bask in it. For more on him go here.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music at Elsewhere articles index

The Broken Heartbreakers: Wintersun (BHB)

The Broken Heartbreakers: Wintersun (BHB)

The self-titled debut album by this Auckland-based folk-pop band was among the Best of Elsewhere 2007 list -- and they have just been getting better. No surprise really given that alongside the... > Read more

Lindsey Buckingham: Gift of Screws (Warners)

Lindsey Buckingham: Gift of Screws (Warners)

Although he came to attention as a (very) soft-rocker with his partner Stevie Nicks in the days before they joined Fleetwood Mac, Buckingham was the one in the group whose music was the most... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . LIBBY HOLMAN: Sex, scandal, shooting and suicide

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . LIBBY HOLMAN: Sex, scandal, shooting and suicide

When they found singer Libby Holman dead in her Rolls Royce of carbon monoxide poisoning in 1971, her suicide brought an end to a life marked by scandal, sexual promiscuity, one dead husband and a... > Read more

Frank Sinatra: Strangers in the Night (1965)

Frank Sinatra: Strangers in the Night (1965)

Frank Sinatra hated Strangers in the Night which he took to the top of the charts, shoving out the Beatles' Paperback Writer in the US. "He thought it was about two fags in a bar,"... > Read more