Harry Anne Linseed is the third release from Haniell. The artist previously released People Doing Things and Ocmundtune-mastix & Now which happened to get Top Album honors from us here at Divide and Conquer.
The theme of this release is broad. Haniell explains: “The two main subjects in my songwriting are first, my childhood in Devon, and second, the mysteries of the subconscious, as expressed in dreams and myths. Therefore, the album is like a dream-myth about my countryside childhood. I have to be honest that I’m not sure what he meant at first by that last sentence but it made more sense as I listened. So let’s get into the music.
The album starts with “Haunted Keep” which is one of the more immediately accessible songs. It starts off with a strong groove made up of guitars, bass and piano. There are field recordings inserted into the song. I will say it does give it a bit of a dream-like quality. The other thing was the guitar melodies which contained a unique combination of melodies and scales.
“Harvest Festival” is a piano ballad of sorts that contains a good amount of other elements. The song picks and drops off in unexpected ways. I say that as a good thing. Perhaps the interesting part was the ending. It definitely feels dreamlike but this sounds more like a nightmare sequence where everything vaguely blurs together. It builds suddenly to “Roulette” which might be the nightmare he alludes to in the previous song. The song does seem to transition emotionally almost as if the nightmare is becoming more pleasant or at least displaying some light at the end of the tunnel.
I wouldn't call this dance music but if there’s any song that has some dance worthy moment it's the beginning of “I Was Walking Again In Dreamland.” That however doesn't last long as we are whisked away to a more dream-like atmosphere. The guitar and vocals patterns are steady as chaos seems to unfold. There are some stark changes and surprises which worked well.
The album is just getting started. “Don't Let The Weather Bring You Down” and “Fall Of The Granite Man” continue to form a cohesive foundation to the album. One of the most infectious grooves is on “Good.” “Lullaby (For Some Sleeps)” is a great track that implements field recordings in musical ways.
“Herebefore” is one of the most emotionally resonant songs. It’s pretty upbeat and joyful in its own way. The album ends with the more warm and melancholy “Ever Since Greenwich'' which contains some incredible crescendos due to the orchestral strings.
I was listening to a podcast on the psychology of music recently and one of the things the scientist mentions is that people are attracted to music that is familiar but also novel. If it’s too novel people cannot listen but if there’s a taste of it then people will listen. This seems to be the case with this release. There’s just enough here that feels familiar and also feels novel. Highly recommended.
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