England based singer songwriter Neil Halstead’s solo work has taken a bit of back seat this year thanks to the reformation of the shoegaze band Slowdive that he formed in 1989 with school friend Rachel Goswell. His solo album Palindrome Hunches is still a firm favourite of mine and it’s from that album that I’ve selected today’s Song of the Day.
Bert Jansch and Nick Drake are clear influences in his work and this shines through brighter then ever on Love is a Beast. Drew Milloy’s double bass and Ben Smith’s violin add colour and vibrancy that wouldn’t be out of place in a Robert Kirby arrangement for Nick Drake. Like those compositions they never detract from the intimacy Halstead brings in his voice which bears a remarkable resemblance to Jansch.
Palindrome Hunches was released in 2012 via Sonic Cathedral.