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Ralegh Long: Hoverance


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From the bio:
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Hoverance is the beautifully pastoral debut album from English songwriter Ralegh Long. Drawing from influences such as Bill Fay, Nick Drake, Jimmy Webb and Epic Soundtracks, Long has produced a warm and intimate record, bathed in lush orchestral arrangements and underpinned by rich piano tones and punctuated by pedal steel. To write the album, Long left London and returned to the surrounding countryside where he grew up. Sitting at a piano overlooking the fields he crafted a debut suffused with natural imagery and mysticism. He then returned to London and gathered a group of friends to record the album. The cast of collaborators includes Tom Dougall of TOY on guitar, Jack Hayter (ex-Hefner) on pedal steel, string-arranger Louis-Phillipe (El records, The Clientele) and indie-pop orchestra A Little Orchestra. Long describes the world he writes about in Hoverance as a “liminal kind of countryside, pretty rough and suburban, but countryside nonetheless.” There’s an almost magic-realist sense of nature throughout the record and Long explains: “I have always had a strong connection to the natural world. I think it’s a large part of what I’m trying to express in the shape of songs, in both the writing and the sounds I choose.” The themes of Hoverance pick up on motifs of the Christian Mystics in their vision of the natural world as a metaphor for another world. At the time of writing the album Long stumbled upon the writings of 20th Century mystic Thomas Merton and was struck above all by his sense of the mystery of the natural world. This sense of mystery in nature is particularly evident in lyrics such as “morning trembling to the thrill of birds in flight” from ‘Song for Matthew’. Long is not the first artist to draw on this kind of syncretic theology – most notably, it hovers in the background of Talk Talk’s Spirit of Eden. Taken from the first track on the album, ‘Gulls Hovering’, ‘hoverance’ is not a word you’ll find in the dictionary, but if you could, it would mean the ‘act of hovering’. As Long explains, ‘hovering between two worlds, the interfusion of the worldly and the not.’ This certainly sums up the ethereal nature of the record. Sensitively executed and utterly exquisite, Ralegh Long has created a fascinating work, worthy of his influences yet truly singular.”
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Hoverance is out April 6 on Gare du Nord; listen to “Islands” below.
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About foamhands

My name is Michael Dix; I'm a decade or so past being down with the kids, but to me new music never gets old. Apparently I like music that sounds like faulty kitchen appliances and ritual slaughter; really I just like what I like, whether that happens to be indie, pop, punk, hip hop, metal, electronica, Afrobeat or jazz. Follow me on Twitter @FoamHandsBlog to receive notifications of new posts and the occasional random brain-fart, and please share links wherever you can. Enjoy!

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