Hayden Thorpe - 'Diviner'

7/10

When Wild Beasts announced their unexpected disbandment following the release of their heavily-praised 2016 album 'Boy King', we all knew that this wouldn't be the last time we would hear something from at least one of the members. And so while the group set off on a farewell tour and recorded a final retrospective live album, frontman Hayden Thorpe was already planning his next steps as a solo performer. And so unveils his first full-length release 'Diviner', a record that separates him from the sound of his formative outfit and delivers something far more intrinsic.

While Wild Beasts always had this unique flair for bold and engaging ideas, 'Diviner' is a far more intimate affair as Thorpe adopts the crooning singing style of artists such as Leonard Cohen and David Bowie to introduce himself. With a minimal approach to production, this new full-length sees the frontman take on a more wistful and sometimes psychedelic aesthetic, juggling light and airy synths with his own eerie and soaring vocals. Not too dissimilar from the swooning chillwave style of Toro Y Moi, this new record comes across as a more personal collection of ideas, moving himself far away from the expectations many would have had.

From the start, this definitely feels like Hayden Thorpe looking to tread his own path as a solo performer. 'Diviner' has this incredible well-paced approach to its writing, producing ebbs and flows throughout each of its wonderfully arranged tracks, to create a beautiful and succinct release. A strong debut from an artist that still has so much to give.

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