IVAN MOULT – Longest Shadow (Bubblewrap Collective – BWR040CD)

Longest ShadowLongest Shadow is the heartbreakingly beautiful new offering of original tunes from Cardiff-based songsmith, Ivan Moult. In the ilk of Damien Rice for example, it is laden with gorgeous string and choral ensembles, while in the vein of Nick Drake, it is filled with much sparser and simpler guitar parts…which in truth, only make the album a whole lot more complex.

Within seconds of listening it is easy to become entranced with the album’s gems; firstly in the form of the brutally honest ‘Keep Cautious’. It is beautifully played, convincingly sung, impeccably written and topped off with an incredible false ending. The album’s strong opening only continues, being carried on immediately with the title track, and Moult’s latest single, ‘Lay Me Down’; dealing with Moult’s own feelings of both giving into and wrestling with depression.

Even after album milestones, the highlights continue to flow; ‘Carried Over Water’, ‘Like Millions Before Me’ and (the ever so slightly idealistic) ‘The One Who’. Defining each half of the album is the minute-and-a -half ‘Intermission’, where Moult’s noodlings and fingerpicked tinkerings bring us into the album’s other side; complete with shades of the late John Martyn (see ‘Any Other Name’), hints of jazz music (‘In The Library’ and ‘Speaking In Tongues’) before bowing out with ‘Fool On The Floor’.

Longest Shadow truly is a stunning piece of work and if the likes of Damien Rice, Nick Drake, Willy Mason are your thing, it’s a safe bet that you will thoroughly enjoy this recording from the already critically acclaimed Ivan Moult.

Christopher James Sheridan

Artist’s website: http://ivanmoult.com/

‘Longest Shadow’ – live: