28 February, 2017 in Music Reviews
To explore alienation and loss this Dudley native took a solitary three-month trip to the Highlands to exorcise his demons
For those who are unaware, Dudley lies in the West Midlands between Wolverhampton and Birmingham, UK. Once upon a time, Birmingham had a thriving folk scene and that heritage lives on in Lee Endres’ debut album Croft.
On hearing the title-track, it is no surprise that the album was written in solitude. The lonely guitar is quickly lost beneath Endres’ frosty vocals. A backing vocal represents the echoing cry of someone lost in heavy fog. The aptly titled Morning Sun awakens the listener. The tone has softened and the guitar is comforting, like the chattering of seagulls.
It is clear the vocals are mimicking the wild winds of the Highlands. Panning from left to right, only resting in the centre for a time to deliver the story’s message; the singer’s words are a warning to himself, as we listen in. Tumbling from the tip of his tongue and resting on tufts of wild grass, before blowing away. A feeling that continues throughout, as he battles with themes of dementia and self-doubt.
Croft is a heartfelt and bold attempt to answer the most personal of questions. At times the vocals are almost Gregorian in style, which points to a sense of religious enlightenment.
Verdict: Folk that reflects all our impurities