New Album of
Heart Full Of Sky.
New Album of
The special edition, a double album, with only 2.333 copies was sent out in December 2006. The regular single cd will see the daylight at 10th of February with a great launch party at the Astoria in London.
After the departure of one of Mostly Autumn’s key members of, the excellent keyboardist Iain Jennings, fans were concerned about how the band would survive. After the first listening party I was convinced that the band had not only survived but had actually taken a huge leap forward – you could almost say they were a re-born Mostly Autumn. The new man in charge is a different character, a different player with a different approach of making music, but he and the other 7 Mostlies have made their best album to date. For me ‘The Last Bright Light” was spot-on, followed by the first two. But this is even more brilliant!
And I did say 7 Mostlies. The band recently announced the departure of Liam Davison (guitars) and Andrew Jennings (drums). You can find more about that on this page.
The album has leading roles for Bryan, Heather and Chris Johnson. Maybe Will Bartle (the engineer at Chapel Studios) put some weight behind it too. As Bryan said: “The first release under our own label gives us the freedom to create music which says what MA is all about”.
Let’s start with a review and try to make you enthusiastic too...
Disc One Disc Two Regular Disc
1. Fading colours (8:25)
11. Science and Machinery (6:00)
2. Half a world (4:50)
3. Pocket watch (4:20)
4. Blue light (4:58)
5. Walk with a storm (7:51)
6. Find the Sun (5:35)
7. Ghost (5:27)
8. Broken (5:11)
9. Silver glass (7:10)
10. Dreaming (8:36)
12. Open road (4:22)
13. Gaze (4:48)
14. Yellow time (5:11)
15. Broken soldier (6:12)
16. Further from home (6:27)
17. Bright green (4:00)
18. Softer than brown (5:02)
Total Time: 104:32
1. Fading colours
2. Half a world
3. Pocket watch
4. Blue light
5. Walk with a storm
6. Find the sun
9. Silver glass
10. Further from home
1. Fading colours (8:25)
11. Science and Machinery (6:00)
Heather & Olivia
Troy & Andrew
1. Fading Colours / 8:25 Josh
This track is the opening song for their current tour. On the album version Heather starts with a beautiful line, just her and her wonderful voice… Then a powerful keyboard loop takes over, the band get on stage and Bryan lets his guitar speak. A song with a cinematic style and some fireworks are added to make it complete. Live, their gig starts with this song; a “remote” keyboard loop and a empty stage – a great opening.
Heavy, almost gothic riffs, good guitar work, an excellent slide of Liams hand and Heather’s voice takes you to the moon and back. Bryan sings the second verse. As the song reaches the 7 minute mark a counterpoint starts with a bridge to a quieter passage on guitar, with keyboards joining in and then there is the fade out - an excellent start to this double edition.
With this album Mostly Autumn broke with the tradition of starting with a fade-out of the last track of previous album. But on the regular release the fade-out will be mixed into this song.
2. Half A World / 4:50 Findlay
Again a stunning opening for Heather; “Got a heart full of sky and a pocket full of stones.” “Pocket full of Stones” is Bryan’s favourite track from David Gilmour’s latest album - coincidence? I don’t know, but I do know that Liam, Bryan and Heather saw David Gilmour perform at the Royal Albert Hall in May 2006 and that Bryan wrote a poetic review of this song (read it here). A smooth, quiet track, with a leading role for Heather and a smashing guitar solo from Bryan. When a Hammond starts to come to life, yet another solo takes your breath away.
3. Pocket Watch / 4:20 Josh
Why shouldn’t we stay with the mighty Pinks? Bryan wrote this track on the day Syd Barrett passed away, although he wasn’t aware of this at the time… This song starts with an ode to Syd. And to make the story more creepy Heather met Roger Waters on that very day and shook hands with him… Another hero of Bryan is Clint Eastwood. He is mentioned in the line “and he’s going to blow the suckers away“. Bryan is sings this song on his own and he does it very well.
4. Blue Light / 4:48 Johnson
A beautiful, sad ballad, Heather’s voice is even more amazing, and she get the support of Ann-Marie Helder on backing vocals. Over lush keyboards, Angela’s flute is both haunting and prominent. Yet ,more extraordinary sounds come out of your speakers and then Bryan lays down an absolutely great solo. Or is this Sir David Gilmour himself?
5. Walk With a Storm / 7:51 Josh
And here it is; a new epic ... a heavy guitar riff starts, Bryan and Heather dueting and the Mostly Autumn sound is there. One of the heavier songs on the album, it becomes even heavier when a Deep Purplish touch speeds up the rhythm and a violin starts the counterpoint and makes the song a diamond. The legendary Peter Knight of Steeleye Span is the man in charge, together with Troy Donockley on Uilleann Pipes, and it is an absolute highlight of the album. This is the Celtic touch that Mostly Autumn is capable of, crafting into their proggy songs so well. And when the climax grows even bigger Bryan performs one of his Blackmore tricks.
6. Find The Sun / 5:32 Findlay / Josh
Peter Knight opens with a moody violin. Heather joins in, telling the story of a close friend’s life. Close your eyes, absorb her heavenly voice, the wonderful playing, the piano, violin, acoustic guitar, strings, drums, keyboards, and feel the Spanish sun on your face.
7. Ghost / 5:27 Johnson
Not only is the title a bit spooky but so is the guitar playing that starts the song. Bryan sings scary lines to make the effect even creepier. Heather takes over with more optimistic lines and the song jumps to a more positive vibe. Bryan then brings back the heebie-jeebies again. A track that works live very well, albeit with different singers as Chris does the vocals himself rather than Bryan.
8. Broken / 5:11 Josh & Findlay
The original 16-track demo recording was used for Heather’s vocal. Apparently Heather wasn’t happy that she could reproduce that sad vibe of the song so intensely as she had then. The song is dedicated to the Charlie Jones, who was a dear friend and sound engineer for the Mostlies.
9. Silver Glass / 7:12 Johnson
When I heard Chris sing for the first time (I think it was 3 years ago), he wasn’t my favourite singer. He has a high fragile voice, but on this one it’s done well. A nice, quiet song with some lovely piano playing, reminiscent of Roger Hodgson’s style.
10. Dreaming / 8:36 Josh
A great guitar intro that reminds me of “House of the Rising Sun” by the Animals. This song doesn’t quite work for me as the chorus really isn’t my thing. For some friends it was a highlight of the album….Some Beatleseque harmonies.
11. Science & Machinery / 6:00 Johnson
Another composition from Chris, with him doing the lead vocals together with Bryan, who also lays down some excellent, soaring guitar work. A psychedelic song filled with keyboards loops & tricks and a heavy, thick bass. A good song to explore with your headphones on. But after hearing the album a few times, it didn’t grabbed me like other songs.
12. Open Road / 4:22 Josh
A rocker, the opening could be a classic Eagles song. It wasn’t my favourite when I first heard it, because it has that feeling of an old, classic Mostly Autumish style song, it wasn’t real fresh and new. But now I’ve heard the album a few more times, it has become a song that turns out to be catchy and is worth giving more plays. And a Hammond solo from D.M.Moore, the master chef of the Chapel Studios, makes it even more worth listening to.
13. Gaze / 4:48 Johnson
An absolute masterpiece - a fresh new ballad written by Chris and with lead vocals by Heather, it could be Heather’s story. Peter Knight adds some violin. This is not prog or symfo, it is simply beautiful and breathtaking. Every note is full of emotion and sung beautifully. Heather told me that after she had sung it a few times during the recording session she eventually broke down in tears, after the last session that made the album … And I’m not surprised about that – are you? An beautiful intro for another highlight;
14 Yellow Time / 5:11 Findlay
Another classic happy song from the folk rock scene. Angela’s soothing magical flute is a prominent feature of this track, and she also contributes piano and backing vocals. Heather provides vocals, acoustic guitar and percussion. This could be a fantastic single with its melodic chorus and percussion that sticks in your head and makes you tap your fingertips.
15. Broken Soldier / 6:12 Josh
The CD is running and the next soft-rock, melancholic song a-la “David Gilmour - On An Island” is filling your room. Bryan takes you to higher places with a Gilmouresque guitar play. A song about the soldiers and the wars they’re fighting. And this is still taking place on this planet.
16. Further from Home / 6:27 Josh
An instrumental track, with no flute on it, something that’s not common for the Mostlies. A great guitar-based piece with a simple piano playing. And then Bryans starts to sing with flashbacks to the opening track “Fading Colours”. So it isn’t an instrumental track at all! This could be the last track of the regular release. Again, a masterpiece.
17. Bright Green / 4:00 Josh
A cheerful song, lead vocals by Bryan with backing by Heather. Maybe a bit like Fleetwood Mac meets Dire Straits. Nice but not a track that will get on to the regular CD.
18. Softer then Brown / 5:02 Josh
An old love song that was dusted off and is more than worthy of closing this magnificent double album. Nice soft vocals from Bryan in an unusually high register for him. It works very well with Heather doing the backing vocals. Of course his trademark, a blistering solo, makes the song complete. It ends with a few chords of “Evergreen”, a classical live song.
Bryan & Liam
I think this is the best work they have done so far, although I miss an epic like “Mother Nature”. Maybe “Walk of the Storm” could grow to become a classic
Mostly Autumn epic. I guess it will be a great song when it’s played in the Astoria, (10th February) with Peter Knight on violin.
Leading roles for Heather, her voice is magnificient, sexy and can carry a song on his own, and of course Bryans excellent guitar play. But surprisingly he plays more as only guitar on this highlight. Chris is a great new guy with I think responsible for some new ideas and tunes and did I mentioned that I love Angela's flute?
The regular CD planned to be a single disc album. And I think Bryan must really have had a hell of a job to reduce both of these fantastic CDs into just one. For me there are only two songs he could skip, namely “Science & Machinery” & “Bright Green”, and maybe “Dreaming” - although that is such a live rocker that it will no doubt remain. The other tracks are of such a great level that I can’t imagine that they will not be available for the rest of the world. But sadly there’s no room for all of them…
For me it’s obvious that Bryan and his friends are great fans of Roger Hodgson and David Gilmour and I know they saw both last year on several occasions.
Some songs of the second disc are of that same well-crafted level that makes “On an Island” by David Gilmour such a great album. Maybe this album is even less proggy than the previous Mostly Autumn release, and although I’m great prog fan, I think this album is really a great album. It’s not a “Dark Side Of The Moon”, rather I would say more a “Rumours” by Fleetwood Mac with a breath of atmospheric well-crafted prog. Some other bands that came up in my mind were Renaissance mixed with Clannad; powerful prog-rock, played by excellent musicians with a heart full of sky. A beautiful Autumnish sky, just like the old Dutch painters were able to catch on the canvas. And let’s hope that the hearts of the Mostlies will beat for a long musical life.
Good luck to you all.
Thanks Bryan & Roger.
Nick from the lovely south of the Netherlands.
On some of these tracks he also used his Fender Stratocaster for a bit of additional texture on some rhythm parts but the main parts and solos were the Les Paul (apart from the final solo on Dreaming).
Bryan also used a Washburn 12-string acoustic on Broken Soldier.
Anne Marie Helder
All pictures from Wilma:
Except the picture to the left and the right ;-)
10th February; launch party at the Astoria in London.
With guest musicians and a great visual show.
New Album of
Heart Full Of Sky.
The Dutch Mostly Autumn Site.Mostly Autumn Official Site