Dave Heumann – Here in the Deep
Autumn. And as if to mark the occasion, the debut solo LP from the Arbouretum frontman arrives shaded in earthy, feuille-morte introspection, like a WB Yeats poem set to music (there’s even a track entitled Leaves Underfoot, in case the prevailing mood has us slow on the uptake).
Fans will recognise Arbouretum’s trademark touches – particularly the sense of space within the production, affording scope for the material to breathe. The folk-rock leanings, however, are more pronounced than his day job’s outings, wispy instrumentals Morning Remnants and the aforementioned, acoustic-driven Leaves Underfoot suggesting that it’s autumn of 1975, not forty years later.
It’s the rest of the album where matters come a little unglued, the AOR Americana and strident guitar of Switchback and Ides of Summer sitting uneasily aside the more reflective moments. And whilst there are a few cute touches – particularly the backwards guitar on Holly King On A Hill – the prevailing winds are uncertain; rather like autumn itself. [Duncan Harman]