Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
The world has not just gone mad, it is barely holding on to its fragile sanity, the cracks have well and truly appeared and there are many to whom the natural symbiosis of humanity and compassion has taken leave, they shout as all tyrants do of conquer and borders but they have no idea of the history in which they dismantle, of the destruction wrought in their name and yet they keep demanding to have the country or their planet back.
There are thankfully people with vision to whom the shouts and insults being hurled across the room are nuggets of information, moments in which to show the rest that the disinformation, the debacle of half truths and buried lies will not manage to succeed. There are people like Will Varley around, you just have to make sure that you listen with full attention and awareness to keep the message going.
Will Varley’s latest album, Kingsdown Sundown is one of the most poignant albums of the year, its struggle to contain the anger inside is to be seen as passionate, a glorious reminder that the collective insanity we seem to be witnessing, of rising nationalism, of unwarranted attacks on other people’s place of origin is to be seen as ridiculous and bewildering.
To heal you have to listen, the mood may be black, suffering from the eternal headache of pessimism and disturbing visions but listen, put your ear into a mode of listening that does not require a syllable of expression in return and you can see the scar, once deep and ugly, oozing pus where the skin doesn’t join, turn blemish free and soaked in the ointment that Folk cares for.
In tracks such as the phenomenally cool We Want Our Planet Back, the sublime One Last Look At The View and February Snow, Will Varley’s commentaries on modern day life in the U.K. is to shower yourself in the blossom of proper decency and respect, not one that requires any type of desire to maim or knock those who seek an alternative life to the one being played out.
A dramatic album but one that is subtle enough to not divide sharply, just the controlled anger of a musician in touch with a reality that many would deny, Kingsdown Sundown is a pastoral moment of quiet beauty and rage.
Will Varley’s Kingsdown Sundown is released on November 4th.
Ian D. Hall