Denuo : Frozen Lake EP

Denuo is North Wales singer songwriter Tom Mason, who recorded this - his latest EP - in the Winter of 2015/16, produced by Russ Hayes at Orange Sound Recording Studio, Penmaenmawr.

Comparisons of his work have been made with Jeff Buckley, amongst others, but here there is something in the subtly layered instrumentation, and the absorption in the music it prompts, reminiscent of the magnificent later Talk Talk albums.

The first of the four tracks, Frozen Lake, has particular cinematic majesty. It drifts into life with a couple of brief eidetic images, then dreamlike, guitar and voice shifting as blurring shoals of notes, building a mood powerfully before dying to an ice cold, elemental close.

Closer is simpler and brighter, an infectious shuffling drum beat under a clear guitar melody juxtaposed with a slightly forlorn, world worn singing manner. White Lanterns is a short instrumental with a wordless, yearning vocal, and finally Into Dusk, a gentle ballad starting with strummed guitar and voice, with just a hint of country hidden in its rhythm.

There is an underlying, sustained atmosphere of otherness in all the tracks (more Hinterland than Poundland). As a whole it is a remarkably accomplished and engaging EP, and Frozen Lake as a track is something special and exalted alone.