Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
If there is no sense of the immediate in this fast paced world, no look of the instant result or abrupt hook, then it tends to be dismissed, for many people it has no relevance, a word bandied about by those often with no patience or no desire to look beyond their own worlds and experience, the dots not connected, the links not forged, the immediate has become a god of words signifying very little, and in the same way as the phrase “good for the economy” has come to imply that nothing else matters but this ravenous giant, so too does immediate spell the doom for the gentle carousal of building interest to be found in the form of painted imagery.
Will Varley’s fifth studio album, Spirit Of Minnie, is an album that is unafraid to paint words, to see the whiteness of the canvas and not feel the need to give it attention as the highest priority, instead concentrating on the detail of the landscape rather than the rush to fill in every nook and cranny with characters that just don’t fit the narrative on offer.
Holding close rather than immediate, comfortable rather than urgent, Spirit of Minnie retains its pleasure all the way through the album because it has had time to breathe and allows the listener to look on fascinated as the colours and depth in perception become clear, a dab of introspection here, a slow burning joy of retrospective there. In songs such as Seven Days, Screenplays, Statues and Postman Will Varley takes the listener in, shows them the empty canvas and proceeds to hold them in a state of grace as each line is drawn, each small addition is held to be significant and the overall picture is one that has not been hurried by demand and the lure of the incessant voice, but one of patience and endearing close fought serenity.
An album that would be a fitting scene in anybody’s musical canvas, Will Varley’s Spirit of Minnie is a generous and deserving, it is unhurried and yet it deliberates with measured tones and satisfying, down to Earth drive; a pleasure that requires no words but just the smile of enjoyment.
Ian D. Hall