The debut album from The Silver Reserve has been a very long time coming. Five years, in fact. But now that the self-titled offering has finally arrived and we can luxuriate in the gentle warmth, subtlety and natural contours of its suitably organic sound it is undoubtedly a record that has been well worth waiting for.
The Silver Reserve’s genesis can be traced all the way back to 2012 and the band’s emergence from what was the earthly remains of Rusty Bear, the Leeds-based trio who’s first album Source To Sea had already been warmly received in modern folk circles. The songs that are now eventually revealed on The Silver Reserve were originally intended for the follow-up to Source To Sea. They started life as classical guitar pieces but have since been carefully nurtured, slowly evolving and ultimately being transformed into the 13 tracks that can now be heard today.
“The world is pissing wet through…” This is the stark opening line to ‘The Diving Board’ the first song on The Silver Reserve. With these words and Matthew Sturgess’s voice sounding eerily reminiscent of a young Nick Drake, you could quite easily be mistaken for believing that you were about to enter a most bleak and melancholic world. But as the record gathers momentum and The Silver Reserve sound begins to slowly blossom, the musical landscape changes into one of more free-spirited collaboration that touches easily upon the counterpoints of folk, majestic indie-pop and nascent psychedelia.
Lying at the very heart of The Silver Reserve is Matthew Sturgess, the band’s principal songwriter. He is joined here by his erstwhile Rusty Bear comrade-in-arms Zebedee Budworth, who alongside Xander Edwards and Benjamin Wall not only rotate instruments on this record – guitars, keyboards, glockenspiel, mandolin, hammer dulcimer, banjo, harmonica, bass and drums are all well within their collective musical reach – but also form what is the very core of The Silver Reserve. This nucleus is augmented by a rhythm section of Sam Foster and Jack Chandler and together the six men make some very sweet music indeed.
‘Track Record’ takes you back to an earlier time, one in which life was somehow more simple. As its melody gathers momentum, a Laurel Canyon time-warp starts to unfold. Hearing ‘A Wild Look’ once again – it was previously a GIITV Track of the Day – is just like unexpectedly stumbling upon a long-lost friend. It is, immediately, exciting and so very, very reassuring.
The exuberant chiming guitar intro of ‘Love II’ is redolent of The Smiths, whilst parts of ‘Blind’ could easily be found on the first side of a vinyl copy of Pink Floyd’s Meddle. But in keeping the very best to (almost) last and in further illustrating The Silver Reserve’s huge swell of creativity, the album’s penultimate track ‘Forget’ produces eight minutes of music that is as near as damn it perfect.
The eponymous debut album from The Silver Reserve is released on 7th July 2017 and can be purchased HERE
The Silver Reserve can be found online at: