Ed Harcourt - 'Beyond The End'

7/10

As one of the country's most loved and proficient songwriters, Ed Harcourt has made a career out of heartfelt and moving pieces of music that have seen the frontman go from humble beginnings to worldwide recognition, most notable on his last full-length 'Furnaces', which became one of his most high-profile releases to date. But now looking to focus even more on the music, his eighth studio album 'Beyond The End' has become his first fully instrumental LP, highlighting his own style of piano playing ever more as he looks to continue his exploration into the world of mood-driven yet minimal compositions.

Much like much of his work to date, 'Beyond The End' is a very intimate release. With little more than a piano and the occasional string section in the production, Harcourt aims to bring a sense of mystical wonder to his latest collection of work. Stripping back the focus of his own vocals, he has managed to deliver a series of passionately moving works that look to become more captivating than his traditional style. Without the distraction of lyrics, he is able to conjure a heartfelt and diverse album that takes all the emotion of his voice and instead lays it across keys in a warm and mesmerising way.

It may stand out amongst the rest of his back catalogue, but in the most awe-inspiring way. Unveiling a beautifully made and driven release this late in the year sees it elegantly couple with the changing of the seasons, giving us a comforting winter collection only he could have delivered. A strong return that emphasises his own talents even more than we could have thought.

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