Neil Halstead – ‘Palindrome Hunches’
Whimsical, pleasant and calming, with shades of Damien Rice and Regina Spektor
By its very nature, shoegaze was never going to set the world on fire when it emerged in the late ’80s. Neil Halstead, erstwhile co-founder of Slowdive (who later morphed into Mojave 3), now makes hushed, understated and autumnal folk music which, despite occasional dark themes (‘Spin The Bottle’ is about his ex-wife), is the musical equivalent of cashmere socks. Recorded in a primary school, the Reading warbler’s third solo record is whimsical, pleasant and calming, with shades of Damien Rice and Regina Spektor. Comparisons with Nick Drake will be made, but they’re overly generous.