CD: Rhys Marsh & the Autumn Ghost: The Blue Hour
On the last day of summer, Rhys Marsh And The Autumn Ghost return with their third full-length record, 'The Blue Hour', in which Marsh leads them into another bold sonic-territory.
The trademark combination of dynamics & melancholy remains, though this time the strings &
Mellotrons have stepped aside for brass & woodwind ensembles. There is also a noticeable change
in the vocal presentation — the thickly-layered harmonies have now been stripped back to a more
monophonic point of focus. All of these elements come together beautifully, giving the album an
incredibly warm & intimate atmosphere.
From the outset — the hypnotic rhythms & longing woodwind arrangement of 'And I Wait', which
slowly unfurls over seven minutes, after which heading straight into the sixties-tinged 'Read The
Cards', with its heavily-staccatoed horn section & old-school double drums — it's clear that Marsh
is pushing further forward.
From here, the album twists and turns even further, from the dulcet tones & enticing polyrhythms
of 'The Movements Of Our Last Farewell', to the frantically-paced 'Wooden Heart' — which, even with
several intense dynamic-shifts & irregular time-signature changes, still manages to swing — before
coming to an end with elegantly-psychedelic 'One More Moment'.
For 'The Blue Hour', Marsh has once again assembled a new Autumn Ghost, this time featuring the
cream of the crop of the contemporary Norwegian music scene. In fact,this is the first album on
which Marsh has chosen to feature an entirely Norwegian line-up, borrowing from bands such as
Jaga Jazzist, The National Bank, Emmerhoff And The Melancholy Babies & Pelbo, along with
collaborators of Susanne Sundfør, Kaizers Orchestra & Magnet. This also marks the first occasion
that an Autumn Ghost album has been written & recorded entirely in Norway.