Alexi Murdoch - Towards The Sun

by Dan Clay Rating:8.5 Release Date:2011-04-11

Never heard of Alexi Murdoch? Well, you probably have heard his music. Anyone who's seen anything worth watching on TV recently or seen Sam Mendes' warmly enjoyable film Away We Go a year or so ago will recognise Murdoch's sultry summer voice and gentle plucking. While two of the songs on Murdoch's second album, arriving five years after Time Without Consequence's debut, featured on that soundtrack, the other five are brand new.

Comparison with Nick Drake and José González are obvious, although Murdoch's delightful acoustic meanderings are more suited to the latter's guitar play than the former's melancholy. Recorded in a single night in 2009, Towards the Sun has been revisited and fleshed out with extra accompaniment but essentially this is still one man and his guitar. Not that that's a complaint at all.

Lead single

brings us tales of waiting to see loved ones again in eternity, and the title track could be seen to do something similar. "I'm slipping away, unseen by anyone," Murdoch sings over a dreamy backing, perhaps aware he's yet to break it as a household name, despite every household probably having heard his songs one way or another. 'At Your Door', meanwhile, introduces a slight brass backing over a rhythmic plucking arrangement while the lengthier 'Slow Revolution' delves back into time for a gorgeous acoustic waltz tale. Both sound terrific.

', much like any of the first five tracks, epitomises Murdoch best. A simple, unhurried voice as dreamy as the warm waves of the Pacific coast where he dwells soothes away our worries. The final two tracks, 'Her Hands Were Leaves' and 'Crinan Wood' rely less on backing and bring Murdoch's vocals to the fore like - if it were even possible - a more soulful Sam Beam.

Put simply, although Towards the Sun is unlikely to make it onto many critics and music lover's 'best of' lists once the year's out, it's the music of a richly talented man happy with the warmth of his own sound and it's very much one you should seek out to hear some day very soon. TV executives can't keep singing his praises forever you know.

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