Former Wild Beast Hayden Thorpe follows up 2019’s ‘Diviner’ and last year’s ‘Aerial Songs’ EP with ‘Moondust for My Diamond’ – an album that finds the Lake District-based singer-songwriter trying to make sense of ‘the meeting point between science and religion, the grand struggle for reality that shapes so much of our time’.
The blissed-out ‘Material World’ opens the album with space-tinged piano and synths mixing with glitchy beats as Hayden sings about ‘Material world, ethereal life’ and repeats the words ‘It’s only real if I make it’ before deciding ‘So I make it unreal’. Recent single ‘The Universe is Always Right’ follows, taking the album into a more cosmic yet emotional and dreamy space: ‘Touch me baby, say my name’. ‘No Such Thing’ is drenched in electronica as Hayden reassures himself (and the listener) that there is ‘No such thing as true darkness, within this skin I am boundless’.
With talk of heroes, following your bliss and how ‘Every step is right’, ‘Parallel Kingdom’ adds a hopeful and wondrous tone to a song that sits somewhere between Efterklang and John Grant – with a Talking Heads-style bass line to boot, while ‘Golden Ratio’ picks up the tempo after a slow-burning start to fully embrace a chamber pop sound. This continues through to the infectious ‘Golden Ratio’ – a track that keeps rolling around your head after just one listen. ‘Supersensual’ lives up to its name by slowing things right down before ‘Hotel November Tango’ adds a touch of allure and mystery with instructions to ‘Kiss me’ (and is it just us who hears a passing resemblance to Madonna’s ‘Frozen’ in it?)
‘Spherical Time II’ provides an instrumental interlude before the album’s closing two songs – ‘Suspended Animation’ and ‘Runaway World’. The former is about being careful what you wish for (‘Now that I got what I was asking for, I don’t want it as much anymore’) with religious undertones (‘I’ll burn the book for you’) with the latter offering a repeated plea to ‘let me fail’ over a distorted, disrupted and fractured sound that reflects the fragile state of where we all live.
This far-reaching album finds Hayden Thorpe trying to make sense of our space in this vast universe – while sprinkling some moondust over what an honour it is to be part of it.
Hayden Thorpe Live Dates
15 OCT – London, UK @ Chat’s Palace
6 NOV – Cambridge, UK @ Corn Exchange w/ Jon Hopkins
7 NOV – Brussels. BE @ Cirque Royal w/ Jon Hopkins
8 NOV – Paris, FR @ Salle Pleyel w/ Jon Hopkins
14 NOV – Helsinki, FI @ Helsinki Music Centre w/ Jon Hopkins
15 NOV – Berlin, DE @ Tempodrom w/ Jon Hopkins
16 NOV – Den Haag, NL @ Amare w/ Jon Hopkins
18 NOV – Barcelona, ES @ L’Auditori w/ Jon Hopkins
20 NOV – Oslo, NO @ Sentrum Scene w/ Jon Hopkins
21 NOV – Copenhagen, DK @ DR Koncerhuset w/ Jon Hopkins
23 NOV – London, UK @ Royal Albert Hall w/Jon Hopkins
25 NOV – Stockholm, SE @ Gota Lejon w/ Jon Hopkins
26 NOV – Hamburg, DE @ Laeiszhalle w/ Jon Hopkins