Ted Barnes – Portal Nou
Now if you weren’t careful you might miss this LP. Its understated charm could pass you by, which would be a shame as tracks like The Magician's Assistant, All That’s Real and Dreaming of Dogs are beautiful, quirky things. It’s an LP that doesn’t look to catch your attention either, maybe Singing Glasses and Ghosts aren’t the best choices for an opening salvo.
The number and variety of guest vocalists somehow pull the set together as a whole, maybe it’s the regular vocal changes don’t allow things don’t feel mushy or contented, despite the pace; for this is a fairly relaxed set. The instrumental tracks somehow remind me now and again of a pastoral Yann Tiersin... Weird.
Ted’s one time collaborator, Beth Orton turns up to great effect on the ‘soulful ballad’ (sorry couldn’t help it) Caught Out; and Dreams and Hopes is a brilliant, half-cut torch song.
A really interesting release.