Pavey Ark are a seven-piece band from Hull although their name is taken from a Cumbrian Fell.. Close Your Eyes And Think Of Nothing is their debut album, firmly in the alt-folk style and all their songs are written by Neil Thomas and need to time to take hold of you. Their arrangements are essentially acoustic, although there is some electric guitar here and there, and in their complexity they reflect the structures of Neil’s songs with the whole band taking part in their development.
The opening track, ‘Wallflowers’, is a dreamy song about taking control of your destiny by a change of attitude – in this particular case brought about by a new relationship. Even I can remember what that’s like. ’Cuckoo’ is a fine example of their style. It was written in the aftermath of The Trump’s inauguration and begins in an almost conventional folk-rock style but halfway through the melody and style changes.
There’s a touch of brass on the title track and ‘Leaf By Leaf’ and some haunting bass lines emerge throughout the album, courtesy of John Hamilton. Pavey Ark give a lot of time to instrumental passages; I particularly like the ending of ‘Two Blue Lines’ and the almost Latin rhythms of ‘Hidden Hills’ which spiral off into a long guitar and strings break. ‘She’s Already Flown’ sounds very free and comes to a false finish before starting again with acoustic guitar and Neil singing the title to the real ending and I particularly like ‘Breaking Out’ for its instrumental simplicity and lovely acoustic guitar.
The line-up includes a string quartet which means that they don’t have to teach guest musicians the complicated parts that drench the record and for all its complexity it sounds very tight. As I said, Close Your Eyes And Think Of Nothing is an album that you have to give time to.
Artists’ website: https://www.facebook.com/paveyarkmusic/
‘Hidden Hills’ – live: