After listening to the first two tracks from the exceptional self-titled album Larkhall from Larkhall I was thinking that his piano style sounded more akin to a classical pianist. After reading his bio I confirmed my suspicions. He won contests such as International Shostakovich Competition in Russia and his university's concerto competition. After some time he realized he wanted to focus on writing his own music. I’m glad he did so because this album is quite enjoyable as it combines virtuoso piano you may expect to hear in a classical music with melodic vocal melodies.
The album opens up with the highlight called “Beginning.” Take a bit of Sigur Ros and combine it with Steve Reich and that's similar to what the music sounds like. Suffice it to say I really enjoyed the music. Larkhall can also sing by the way. Great track.
As much as I enjoyed the first track I think “Bones” was even more up my alley. The piano part combined with his lyrics “in your bones” hits you in your soul. It’s beautiful melancholy, borderline haunting.
“Flood” contains orchestral swells and reaches soaring crescendos while “Transitional Fossil” is a gorgeous stripped down piano piece. Larkhall combines with female accompaniment on “On the importance of spirals” which pays off and shows more complexity and diversity to his music. “Maggie” could easily work as music in a dramatic film. It's such a dynamic song.
The centerpiece felt like “Newbridge” which is a sprawling seven-plus-minute song. It’s a very powerful piece and just something you need to experience.
I for one welcome Larkhall with open arms into the relatively new space of music he is exploring. Hopefully we will be able to enjoy his original works for years to come.
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