Part of the merit of Clayhill’s debut album were songs that made the little things seem big – ‘Grasscutter’ or ‘Rushes of Blonde’, taking the most insignificant stories and weaving them around looping melodies, creating importance. It’s a reversal and about-turn then, as new single ‘Halfway Across’ takes a hyperbolic lyrical stance and manages to make it sound completely insignificant. “We may never make it out of here”, “You’re the last tree standing and I won’t cut you down” a quick strum of the old acoustic and a chirpy chaffinch refrain.
Execution of the ditty is exemplary; it would be a saving grace had the song not already executed itself lyrically. Detail in the multitude of circling layers impresses; the sound of fingers flicking across strings, momentary buzz as metal hits fretboard, dusty double bass tones. Still, it’s not good enough to play a below-average song nicely - even if your singer’s voice is as intuitive as the breeze itself, or even if musical detail matches that of a fractal pattern. As it is, ‘Halfway Across’ only half reaches the conscious mind.
4Rachel Cawley's Score