SJ Esau – Small Vessel

"It’s a very theatrical record in a way, maybe it’s the use of soliloquies and vocal asides in various songs and for some reason when I listen to tracks like Ruddy Spark or Frustrating I’m reminded of Peter Hammill’s excellent Nadir’s Big Chance"


SJ Esau – Small Vessel


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Great, you can’t beat an SJ Esau release for entertainment. Wrong Faced Catfeed Collapse was a tremendous thing, and this new LP carries on in the same slightly strange vein. There’s something very focussed about Esau’s muse. There’s also a great sense of balance in his music; his quiet observations are a great counterpoint to a growling, gravelly sound which has strong folk-punk elements to it.


 


It’s a very theatrical record in a way, maybe it’s the use of soliloquies and vocal asides in various songs and for some reason when I listen to tracks like Ruddy Spark or Frustrating I’m reminded of Peter Hammill’s excellent Nadir’s Big Chance LP (albeit without the glam stylings). Check out the fabulously dreamy one-two of Under Certain Things and Bubblehead, which give a nod to Kevin Ayers or maybe Eno’s Before & After Science.


 


It’s also a refreshingly short LP, clocking in around 38 minutes or so. If you haven’t heard anything by this lad I seriously suggest that you check this LP out.


 


Words: Richard Foster