You probably know about as much about* Bevel *as I do. Nadda. Zilch. Etc. But, ooh, bloody hell, the man better known to his mother as Via Nuon has made quite a lovely canvas (wait for it) of Tindersticks-esque music. Which is nice as his main project is as an artist – a nice reverse of the John Squire, Keith Richards, Bob Dylan, every rock star who went to art school and deemed himself an artist, trend of going from guitars to paintbrushes. So, well done you, Via Nuon. Well done.
Phoenician Terrane (look it up and that) is the fourth album from Chicago’s Nuon and despite opening with the ol’ 45-second tune-up (as utilised by luminaries like, er, Embrace) it’s a more than listenable affair. Pretension presumably isn’t something that Bevel shies away from clearly, but, on the other – what I like to think of as the nicer – hand he just about gets away with it.
For example,_ 'Low Income Glade'_ trickles the sounds of the forest into your ear; there’s pipes, acoustic guitars and strings, but before everything gets a bit too Pan Pipe Moods, Nuon rescues it with some gloaming, unintelligible vocals. 'Balustrada', again, is a delicate little tickler of a song.
It’s easy to get lost: after the umpteenth downbeat stringy number your mind wanders, possibly to the bit of your record collection marked Punk, Daft. Or something equally more fun.
Thankfully Nuon manages to avoid getting carried away with himself too much – the album clocks in at a very listenable 36 minutes with no songs topping four and a half of those 36. Which is remarkably un-self-indulgent for what is a pretty bloody self-indulgent album.
7Will Dean's Score