Aled Rheon : A Gorgeous Charge EP2016 : Jigcal
Eadweard Muybridge was the first man to photograph a running horse and prove that all its feet left the ground when it was in full 'flight' - he is also famous for having a head injury that resulted in disinhibiting frontal lobe brain damage, which in turn may have led to him shooting his young wife's lover - or maybe he was just a tad cross and overwrought at the unexpected turn of marital events; either way he was acquitted on grounds of justifiable homicide. The looped image on the front of this EP is redolent of Muybridge's pioneering work, but there is certainly nothing overwrought on this release, Aled Rheon's second EP.
Following on from 2013's strikingly formed Sêr yn Disgyn there are five new tracks here - four sung in English - which put flesh on the bones of the perception of Rheon as a significant songwriter. Two of the five have previously been released as Stay with Me - a double 'AA' single.
The EP opens with September, which has a waltz drum beat setting for a gentle, slightly regretful, autumnal song about falling in love, with Eve Goodman's delicate backing vocal adding poignancy. As noted before the next track Wrap Up Warm is where there is real progress even from the poised Sêr yn Disgyn - it is a simple guitar and clear voiced song about the evolving but always tender advice given by a mother to a growing child; quite extraordinary and distinctive, with Thomas Jones' cello as a brilliantly effective adornment.
Hawdd is closest to Sêr yn Disgyn in mood and sound, not just because it is sung in Welsh - driven perfectly by James Bennett's (of Climbing Trees) subtle drumming. Stay With Me is a contrasting departure - it is a short, optimistic and upbeat track about the start of a relationship, driven by a shuffling handclap beat.
The last track - You Have Me Now - is mainly just an acoustic guitar accompanying Aled's singing, with Eve Goodman again backing - it is a touching, plangent song about the tempestuous final break up of a relationship.
Eadweard Muybridge froze and isolated moments in time using a camera so as to understand them better; similarly Aled Rheon, on songs such as Wrap up Warm, using only guitar and voice, finds new perspectives.
A Gorgeous Charge showcases an insightful and genuinely gifted singer songwriter.
[buy A Gorgeous Charge from Bandcamp - £5 Digital / £6 CD]
ALED RHEON I A Gorgeous Charge EP