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'Winter In London'   

-  Label: 'At The Helm Records'
-  Genre: 'Folk' -  Release Date: '2nd December 2016'-  Catalogue No: 'ATH19927'

Our Rating:
This London-based singer songwriter's debut, Modern Attitudes, followed the well-trod pathways of lo-fi Dylanesque folk but for the follow up you get the feeling these more expansive songs are truer reflections of his personal voice.

There's a freaky Indie quality that is quietly eccentric without striving too hard to be weird.

Recorded at Peter Bruntnell's home studio in North Devon with Lathan's touring band, drum machines, synths, samples, strings and mandolin lend the ten songs a rich palette.

The record comes with its own short story telling "a tale of sordid characters set against the bleak background of London's backwaters".

The narrative is intense but never self absorbed as we are musically guided away from the thoroughfares of the city into the alleys, side streets and "red-lit shadows".

This wintry sojourn takes in the "waking dreams of doubt" of West Hendon Incident and the strident garage blues of Late Night Conversations with a riff that has vague echoes of All Along The Watchtower.

The double-edged romanticism of the closing song This Is The Love is indicative of a songwriter who is not interested in conventional lovey-dovey platitudes as he wonders aloud "should I be upset or stop caring?".

In short, this is a fine, multi-facetted album with songs that repay repeated hearings.

Stevie Ray Latham's website
  author: Martin Raybould

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LATHAM, STEVIE RAY - Winter In London