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Thursday, 5 July 2012

Record Review - Chris Helme

The Rookery

Little Num Num Music CD

Those who remember Chris Helme from his Seahorses days might be surprised by his latest solo effort, far removed from their gritty northern Britpop sound. Opener ‘Pickled Ginger’ is an eerily strummed folk number, conjuring up summer solstice imagery. Its whimsical charm sets the tone for the rest of the album in theory, although the recording is defined ultimately by Helme’s matured and sometimes disarmingly fragile vocals.

Recorded in just nine days in a country hideaway in the Yorkshire Dales wilderness, The Rookery has the gothic spooks – best evidenced in the bittersweet ‘The Spindle And The Caldron’. Evoking something akin to Bronte’s mysterious Moors, the album also has a touch of her ghostly encounters with love.

Helme’s upcoming release ‘Long Way Round’, seems to be a touching ode to his life so far, as he comes to his realisation, “Now you’ve found yourself, you’re on your own”.   

Hannah Stuart-Leach 

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