‘Featherstitch’ was the 2014 debut album from duo Eyreton Hall (Toni Randle and Andrew Keegan), and it featured on a number of end-of-year ‘best of’ lists. Their new album ‘Spaces’, released in May, carries the same signature dusty folky-pop sound, but here with grit and an undertone of grief – the album is partly inspired by death as documented on Ilse, a melancholic celebration of a lost friend.
The other inspiration was new life, and the spacious Albatross (for Randle and Keegan’s son) is also a celebration, but this one clearly of happier themes.
Ten tracks long, ‘Spaces’ is reflective and generally slower in tempo, but the upbeat Goodnight and country-folk album closer Rust change the rhythms enough to give some variation.
Album highlights include the baroque-pop of Beautiful, and the sparse, layered ballad New Tulips.
The band are on point – Randle has a gorgeous voice (reminiscent of Bic Runga and Nina Persson), and band members Tim Randle, Sam Taylor and Mark Hughes fashion beautiful soundscapes beneath her vocals.
Producer Ben King also assists, giving each instrument plenty of space, but also building layers of sound when needed.
‘Spaces’ is assured: a reminder that Eyreton Hall create, and perform, great songs. Hopefully, more people will discover this too.