I’ve probably been listening to Gordon Giltrap for over thirty years but Paul Ward is new to me although, on this reckoning, he is a superb keyboardist.
The 18 tracks here were largely written during lockdown and are, in part, a way for Giltrap & Ward to express emotions at the loss of dear friends and – in Ward’s case – parents. However, there is no point in the album where I felt that this was sad, depressing or any kind of inward-looking expression of pain. Rather, through sublime playing and composition, it is an album of shimmering beauty.
There is a particular ‘Britishness’ about the music and especially in the way that it almost feels like a walk through favourite places and hidden countryside. Giltrap’s guitar playing is superb, as always, and there is a ‘folky’ feeling to much of his playing while Ward’s keyboards and electronics create a depth and height to the soundscape that almost forces you to look in to the guitar work and appreciate it all the more.
There is a book that accompanies this album, short stories by Nicholas Hooper and I suspect that it will open up many of the mysteries herein, but the album stands brilliantly alone and can be enjoyed purely on that basis.