Music is such a beautifully extensive means of communication, particularly so, when associated with different artists and bands in the progressive rock genre. One of the reasons for this is that individual artists or bands in this genera seem to have far more of a say over how they want their resultant compositions to sound. One, therefore, imagines that a huge contribution into the actual sound output and how the final mix is arranged is scrutinized directly by the artist in order to achieve, with the engineer, the resultant atmospheric feel desired by the composer. Londoner, ‘Rhys Marsh’, now living in the Norwegian city of Trondheim, goes one better for not only is he a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist but also the producer and engineer at his celebrated “Autumn Songs Studio,” Therefore, and without doubt ‘Rhys’ entire presence and personality has been firmly watermarked into this album “October After All”, the subject of this review
“October After All” is one of those albums whose poetic and compositional charms gradually draw you into the depths of its symphonic bosom. This is because your judgment at the first time of listening cannot absorb the sheer magnitude of musical happenings going on all at once and at any one time. This situation is exacerbated because the initial expectations of what might be a nicely organised set of singer-songwriter tunes are soon far exceeded with something far more complex and interesting. The truth is that with every successive visit to this album more and more musical gems are revealed and pathways of sheer musical joy opened up. An album packed with delightful flurries of synthesizer modulation, an abundance of vocal inflections and driven forward by a progressive stream of relaxing percussion and tuneful bass throughout its entirety. Such delightful pathways being further reinforced with striking jazz fueled sequences comprising dreamlike trumpet and saxophone arrangements all beautifully molded to accentuate the carefree atmospheric groove created by the harmonious direction that the music takes.
It is an album that can be played on two distinctly separate levels there is, for instance, a particularly romantic edge to the proceedings, a kind of restful and dreamlike quality that creates an overall warm glow when set as background music. And then from a much deeper listening perspective a more detailed appreciation of the technical aspects involved. A rare treat as well, being an album that one can both sing along to and actually dance along with.
From a vocal perspective ‘Rhys’ has a fairly unique and casual singing style full of warmth and cordiality. It’s difficult to judge how versatile and to what degree his vocal range extends but that is of no concern because he has cleverly molded the profile of his vocal output to exactly match the music he has composed. Engaging too are the delightful female support vocals that have been perfectly arranged to blend into the overall vocal mix. There is a hint of ‘Steely Dan’ about the choral arrangements which expand the feel of the music greatly adding charm and panache.
Summary: A delightfully atmospheric album to absorb and slowly digest.
Artwork: Black and White atmospheric photo by Carl Glover
Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Rivewith the r (3:51)
2. Long Way Back (3:38)
3. Golden Lullabies (5:28)
4. Ride The New Wave (5:06)
5. The Butterflies (4:23)
6. Let It Be Known! (3:21)
7. One Hundred Memories (3:59)
8. The Summer Days (4:47)
9. '22' (3:33)
10. (It Will Be) October After All (7:01)
Total Time 45:07
Line-up / Musicians
Rhys Marsh / performer, composer, production & mixing
- Arve Henriksen / trumpet
- Kåre Kolve / saxophone
- Tale Vang Ellefsen /
- Roar Øien /
- Rohey Taalah / chorus vocals
- Silje Leirvik / chorus vocals
- Anders Bjermeland / chorus vocals
- Tim Bowness / chorus vocal
- Ole Kristian Malmedal /
- Vilde Aakre Lie /
FROM THE INTERNET: AutumnsongsRecordingStudio/ Trondheim Rhys Marsh is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, born in London, but now living in Trondheim, Norway. He began his career in 2008, and, over the next five years he released three studio albums and one live album under the name of Rhys Marsh and the Autumn Ghost. His debut solo album, “Sentiment”, was released in the autumn of 2014, which was followed by “The Black Sun Shining”.
Rhys Marsh’ third album - "October After All" (2019) - is his debut on Karisma Records. The album is a beautiful and atmospheric prog album, touching in on both alternative rock and jazz elements.
Producer / engineer at autumn songs studio