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

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

Michael Chapman: 50 (Paradise of Bachelors/Southbound)

Michael Chapman: 50 (Paradise of Bachelors/Southbound)

Late last month this outsider singer-songwriter turned 76 and the album title refers to just how long he's been in the game. And mostly on the losing side when it came to public affection, but a... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BLUE AND THE GRAY, a tele-series by ANDREW V McLAGLEN (Madman DVD)

THE BLUE AND THE GRAY, a tele-series by ANDREW V McLAGLEN (Madman DVD)

As much reminder of how a television mini-series and historical drama used to look in the Eighties, this six hour epic across three discs is certainly ambitious in attempting to present the... > Read more

Jamie McDell, Crystal Palace, Auckland.  May 16, 2015

Jamie McDell, Crystal Palace, Auckland. May 16, 2015

In the many decades before television, people would dress up and go to the movies, and so there were cinemas in most small towns, and in the suburbs of major cities. In Auckland up until the... > Read more