An album of short and sweet instrumentals written for solo Lap Steel Guitar may not be an album for partying to, but there are times when music like this has a place in any record collection. With a soundscape that takes as much from the work of Brian Eno, Erik Satie as it does Blind Willie Johnson, there is much to admire on this release.

Starting with the slow reverie of Istanbul, Harper uses slow, gliding notes, and simple bass string accompaniment, and although the whole of the album sits within these confines, there is still a surprising amount of musical variety.

Advertisements

“a very worthwhile release”

Manhattan is a faster bluesy piece, and Joshua Tree is a more pastoral, slow mood-setting piece. Lebanon takes an example from Indian music, with the raga-like opening motif, and slowly drawn out melody giving space to an ever-evolving chordal progression. The playing throughout is of a uniformly very high standard, and although the music is relatively straight-forward, a lot of technique has to go into the creation of the music.

There is no hiding behind other musicians, production tricks, or other writers. Although Harper is best known for his work as a singer-songwriter as well as a guitarist, Winter Is For Lovers is a very worthwhile release, showing another side of his talent, and in a world which to all intents and purposes is currently on pause, this is music that gives its listeners time to pause and reflect.

BEN MACNAIR

Checkout the album preview on Apple Music!