I first met Duncan Reed while engineering for his Penwortham Live performance, where he cut his strumming hand due to playing so hard! The Lancashire folk singer gifted me his intimately-produced album for review:
The opening track ‘The Tides’ sets a mystic and dark tone with the use of fiddle and a thin-acoustic guitar in a minor key. Reed’s reverb-rich voice carries a lot of maturity and strength, controlling the growls in the melodically-interesting chorus. The drums sound a little weak, but I appreciate his DIY approach to percussion.
‘Shadow On The Sun’ is a brilliant example of folk-pop, with it building with its use of synthy harmonies and percussion and that catchy guitar riff. Reed also explores rock with the heavy, head-bobbing drums and distorted guitars in ‘Questions’, and the harmonies are truly gripping.
I’m truly impressed with Duncan’s versatility, as each song offers something a little different in terms of theme and style, even blending synth with cittern, but he maintains a clear sonic identity with his smooth voice and ethereal BV’s. He’s also great at composing interesting acoustic parts, challenging my initial dismissal of the guitar’s role.
Hypnotise is a transcendent exploration of folk music blended with a variety of other genres, keeping each song interesting and individual while staying true to Reeds songwriting. 8/10
You can listen to Hynotise here: