RHYS MARSH – October After All
The highly talented multi-instrumentalist Rhys Marsh is about to release this wonderfully atmospheric and cleverly written prog rock album via the ever-reliable Karisma Records, and I might as well start off by telling you that this record has some hauntingly beautiful undertones to it that encompass traits from folk rock, jazz, psychedelic pop, and alternative rock.
What immediately stands out is the fact that Marsh’s eclectic compositions are straight from the heart and that he is wearing his emotions on his sleeve here. Much of the album’s depth and emotional impact lie in the words and lyrics to the songs as they are incredibly introspective and borderline voyeuristic at times, which is to say that it feels as if Rhys is telling you a secret or something utterly personal in the strictest confidence. The sound and feel of the record are warm and organic, and the heartfelt vocals have a soothing and comforting quality to them that is quite pleasant. The superb use of trumpet and saxophone not to mention those delightful analogue-sounding synthesizers add color and nuance to the proceedings while some of the more guitar-driven parts and sections attain an almost dream-like vibe. On top of that, "October After All" strikes the perfect balance between being (instantly) memorable and yet sufficiently non-linear and unpredictable to warrant countless repeated listens. The highlights of the disc include the morose "Golden Lullabies" and "Let It Be Known!" as well as the semi-orchestrated "The Summer Days" and the epic, moving "(It Will Be) October After All".
Somewhere between bleak and uplifting, this gem of an album exists and you had better check it out!