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Neil Halstead – Palindrome Hunches album review

Neil Halstead explores relationships past in his latest, Palindrome Hunches. The former Mojave 3/Slowdive lead has struck gold with this one, sounding like Jose Gonzalez if he had grown up in England

The album as a whole makes you feel like you need to call your old girlfriend, the one you haven’t seen since she moved away. The care in Halstead’s voice wraps around you like a big towel after being caught out in the rain. Palindrome Hunches is rich, warm and sweet, like a big mug of hot chocolate. Perfect autumn music, in other words.

Spin the bottle is innocent and light, while Love is a Beast sounds almost tribal with the beat. Bad Drugs and Minor Chords has a certain elegance about it. Palindrome hunches (the track), at only 2 minutes, doesn’t allow you to feel like you can fully enjoy it, but the idea here is more of a Post-it with “XOXO” on the fridge, rather than a love poem. The album gets a little more uplifting, hopeful, toward the end, with the one-two punch of Sandy/Hey Daydreamer, perhaps with the notion that the right one is on the way.

Palindrome Hunches runs a full gamut of emotion for the listener, and manages to be introspective without falling into the Shoegaze trap. Halstead recorded the entire set of tracks in a school room; one of the highlights, Full Moon Rising, was recorded in one take, a feat most impressive when you hear the complexity of it. Chances are you’ll end up listening to it more than once.

By Aaron Peart

If Aaron hadn't chosen to snowboard for the rest of his life, music would easily fill that hole.

Avid gig-goer when finances and scheduling allows, he has seen everyone from Del tha Funky Homosapien to the Rolling Stones to Sharon Jones.

An off-the-cuff writer, he started writing after he realised he would forget main aspects of the topic he spoke about... turned out he liked it. His non-musical musings can be found at the link below where you never really know what will come up. And yes. He is related to Neil.

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