Nature has often been a wellspring of inspiration for artists; shapeshifting and mysterious, it can hold a mirror to human nature, something Albarn does deftly here, stopping to marvel at Iceland’s landscapes (Esja), with a stopover in Uruguay (The Tower of Montevideo).
Dry Cleaning bring a refreshing pop sensibility to British rock music, and New Long Leg is a cracking and captivating debut.
Balfe throws himself into these songs wholeheartedly, teeth gritted as he runs the gamut of anger, pain, nostalgia and sadness. As a result, he has made not only a powerful record but a potentially important one.
This exceptional, empathic record reshapes that idea into a call to arms for the broken, and the devoured, so that a kind of purity might yet triumph over dissolution.
By weirding up his trademark magic, he somehow sounds closer to himself than ever.