How Rhys Marsh has escaped the scrutiny of the majority of music nerds worldwide is a mystery. It’s not just that the Norwegian songsmith is a fine writer – it’s that he’s an imaginative one. Not only do his tunes follow the paths unexpected by a songwriter with his acid folk bent, avoiding obvious transitions and easy choruses, but they’re housed in arrangements that remain colorful even as they never call attention to themselves. By replacing the strings that filled out the songs on his previous pair of LPs with horns and woodwinds on The Blue Hour, Marsh gives sonorous ballads “Broken Light” and “And I Wait” and sprightly folk rockers “Read the Cards” and “Wooden Heart” rich textures and beguiling melodies. If you want a quick take on the Autumn Ghost aesthetic, check out “Further From the Truth” – it’s practically the quintessential Marsh track, a focused concentration of his vision into four and a half minutes. The passing of The Blue Hour will be time well spent.
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