The latest pair of releases from London-based singer-songwriter Robert Sunday were recorded at the same sessions, and form a kind of companion set that continues the pattern of the somewhat elusive, enigmatic writing showcased on his earlier EP Butterfly Hairslide, but with an arguably sharper focus in dealing with the central concepts of memory, love and time.
The PR points at Robert’s music as being good for “fans of Bill Fay, Palace Music and Lee Hazlewood”, but the best of Robert’s songs may well possess a more lasting beguiling quality, as on I Live On A Noble Bunk, Nocturnes In An Empty Park and Hushed Be The Rain – whose titles alone betoken Robert’s innate literacy and slightly off-kilter, if also at times rather misanthropic outlook on life.
Sadly, the accompanying packaging does not extend to the provision of lyrics, merely reproducing isolated stanzas of two of the songs and cryptic quotes from Kurt Vonnegut and Annie Dillard respectively. Robert’s vocal delivery and stylish drawl draws you in right away and holds you throughout the songs. The breathless lyricism of So I Can Save You is balanced by the more seductive Oyster and the American-gothic vignette The Drugstore Situation. Instrumental accompaniments are intelligently coordinated and fully realised, drawing much from minimal resources (acoustic guitar, piano, atmospheric electric guitar, hammered dulcimer). Both mini-albums weigh in at just over 20 minutes, their relative brevity somewhat belying their thought-provoking imagery.