Hailing from Norwich in Norfolk, Brian Korteling is from one of the most beautiful areas of the English part of the UK. For the past several years, he's been writing songs and gigging with bands and as a solo act. As far as I can find, When Those Clouds Pass is his first official solo release.
Korteling's music feels like it's from another time. He has a unique brand of folk rock that's heavily influenced by classical Spanish guitar. The two styles together produce something that is quite dark and it's helped even further along the way by the decidedly lo-fi recording setup. Though that recording setup includes a digital recorder, the ambient room noise that includes the occasional sound of wild birds really gives the album an organic feel.
His voice is at once familiar but it escapes comparison. I know I've heard a voice similar to his before, but for the life of me, that voice just doesn't have a name attached to it. The entire album has a 70's folk rock feel to it and the opening track makes no bones about that being the musical theme of this record. "World To The Girl" feels like a song out of Robert Rodriguez's Mariachi Trilogy. The Spanish influence weaves its way throughout the album, it's even present in Korteling's voice, and creates a foundation that is very far removed from the English city that he calls home.
After a slew of songs that continue the rock feel, the album takes a detour with "Between 2 Worlds,” a beautiful break from complicated instrumentation. It's simply his guitar and voice and it's one of my favorite songs on the record. The track that is definitely my favorite on the album has to be the instrumental "Drip Feed.” It's the longest on the album, but it's worth it to hear some expertly played classical guitar.
As interesting and well written as many of these songs are, they all suffer from being a bit bloated. There isn't a song on this album that clocks in below four minutes and there is only one song on this album that needs to be more than that. So while I did enjoy listening, I did find the experience a bit tiresome at times.
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