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Ben Watt’s second solo album Hendra is about small pleasures – the sound of birdsong in the morning (“Spring”), a walk over the South Downs (“Forget”), the glimpse of a horse’s head held against the sky on another country walk (“Matthew Arnold’s Field”).
The former Everything But the Girl member relates these middle-aged moments of contentment, or consolation, in a plain, semi-conversational voice, the music around him a relaxed drift of Knopfler-esque guitar licks and mellow folk-rock.
Standout track “Levels” – a touching account of disillusionment and escapism – is decorated by a shimmering guitar accompaniment from David Gilmour, emblematic of the album’s subtle power.
(Caroline International S&D)