Bannerman: Dearly Departed (Bannerman/Rhythmethod)

 |   |  1 min read

Bannerman: The Year That Has Gone
Bannerman: Dearly Departed (Bannerman/Rhythmethod)

Recorded in the same furious sessions as his previous release The Dusty Dream Home (considered "an outstanding album" at Elsewhere in 2010, see here), this companion volume as it were confirms the power and darkness of singer-songwriter Richard Setford who is also a member of Batucada Sound Machine.

Away from the Machine however, Setford explores very different sonic and emotional territory and it isn't drawing too long a bow to namecheck Nick Cave, Elvis watching a long black limousine and moody alt.country songwriters like Jeffrey FoucaultLee Clayton and James McMurtry.

Bannerman isn't without his sensitive side and the lovely The Year That Has Gone (with stately horns) is an engrossing glass half full/half empty rumination ("how do you face a year with no armour on?"); and despite the cold wind outside and dark baritone on Take Time is it injunction to slow down and enjoy family, to "come around whenever you're lonely" and the reassurance of "it's alright to hide away".

But mostly this is music from under a cloud cover and Bannerman knows how an arrangment can elevate a simple song into an epic (the five minute There Rose A Flood which starts with spare spaghetti western guitar and increases in sonic intensity before winding back to almost nothing).

Country music of all kinds morphs into these songs (rockabilly on The Howling Wind, big strum and twang on the poppy Rocks Are Just Lonely Hearts, backporch acoustic on Machines) and both his lyrics and delivery suggest an emotional maturity and awareness of damaging experiences into which he can locate himself. Howling Wind is about mortality on a desert battlefield, death and dying -- and he speaks persuasively of something he cannot have experienced.

Although Bannerman dwells at least some of the time in a melacholic's world, there is a curious catharsis here over the 10 songs which inscribe an emotional chart where uncertainty and hurt are evident and even accepted, but the letting go is as important as the experience.

Again, to repeat myself, an outstanding album. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

The Weather: Aroha Ave (Powertools)

The Weather: Aroha Ave (Powertools)

The singer and songwriter behind the Weather is Matthew Bannister, formerly of Sneaky Feelings who drew their inspiration and aspiration from the pantheon of classic pop (Beatles, Beach Boys) and... > Read more

Joe Henry; Civilians (Anti/Shock) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

Joe Henry; Civilians (Anti/Shock) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

With a small band, and guests Bill Frisell (on guitar) and Van Dyke Parks (piano), the much ignored Henry continues his singular path which owes a little to a less grumbly Tom Waits but remains... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Michael Bloomfield: Blues at the Fillmore 1968-69 (Raven/EMI)

Michael Bloomfield: Blues at the Fillmore 1968-69 (Raven/EMI)

For those who weren't there at the time, some small explanation may be necesary. In the late Sixties it seemed obligatory that every student dive or flat would have a copy of an album featuring... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Boz Scaggs; Silk Degrees

THE BARGAIN BUY: Boz Scaggs; Silk Degrees

These days singer/songwriter Boz Scaggs is more of a jazzman -- as witnessed by his album Speak Low of 2008. But in the mid Seventies, in those days just before disco started turning into a formula... > Read more