Bombay Bicycle Club’s bassist Ed Nash almost literally takes us on a fairy-tale journey with his debut solo album ‘The Pace of Passing’
For fans of Bombay, it’s one to certainly take a listen to, but that’s not to dismiss the bass player as simply reproducing what has already been done. This album is a mythological adventure, from the Greek King ‘Sisyphus’ to the enchanting ‘Sirens’; Nash’s work leads us from organic, celestial harmonies, to danceable indie rock tunes.
Drifting in with the ethereal sounding ‘Charon’, Ed has it exactly right. The song allows us to adapt to the new sound he has produced: calm, thought out and measured. For listeners of Alt-J, it’s hard not to be reminded of ‘Intro’ and ‘Warm Foothills’; plug your headphones in and turn it up (or put your ear right next to the speaker) this song may be a subtle one, but it builds beautifully.
‘Sisyphus’ picks up the rhythm with clattering percussion and layering harmonies, whilst Marika Hackman’s collaboration in ‘Palm’s Backside’ displays an alluring melancholia that’s addictive in its repetition of “you look happier than we ever were”. A strong, clean-cut drum beat of ‘Again, Again, Again’ breaks the balmy quality temporarily and provides the listener with a rockier, toe tapping beat.
It may be reassuring for loyal fans of Jack Steadman’s quartet to note that Bombay Bicycle Club are not gone; drummer Suren joins Ed in his new creation, and even Jack was around for the production of ‘The Pace of Passing’. Liz Lawrence (of Cash and David) steps forward in a familiar alliance for ‘Party for Two’ and brings back those serene vocals that fans of Bombay know and love all too well.
Listeners of Fleet Foxes, get over here too; intricately plucked guitar strings and folksy beats are central to ‘The Sun’s Midlife Crisis’. Ending the album on the sturdy ‘The Sirens’ and ‘Terra’, two pre-released singles, the informed listener will be in familiar territory. Ending the album with the polite composure he began it, ‘Terra’ ebbs and flows in texture, rising and falling with the sound of breathing. The introduction of an almost syncopatic drum beat slows down the album, drawing it out and pulling it on a sense of anticpation. ‘The wait is over’ Nash sings, and for his listeners, we are glad that the wait for this album is, finally, over.
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