Ed Harcourt

From Every Sphere (Astralwerks)

ACL Fest Record Reviews

Ed Harcourt

From Every Sphere (Astralwerks) From the Rufus Wainwright school of fey piano comes Ed Harcourt, who somehow manages to be sensitive while avoiding the pitfalls of treacly lovesick puppyness. The young Briton's sophomore release, From Every Sphere, opens on a perfect sweet-and-sour note with "Bittersweetheart," a languid tune with teeth that sink in and don't let go. As the album progresses, Harcourt flirts with different stripes of weirdo-pop, affecting a Tom Waits pose, both sonically and narratively, on "Ghost Writer," a story about a stalker that Harcourt punctuates every other line with a greasy "hey." "Undertaker Strut," meanwhile, is the tale of a man in a black coat that roams the countryside killing children. Songs like these keep things interesting, but not consistently so. The listener's attention drifts as Harcourt dips into sleepy introspection, although his voice is so arresting that one won't wander for long. The mood here is often dark and gloomy, but the approach is more baroque than the typical sad boy's, Harcourt embellishing his tunes with musical doodads like trilling horns and ironic drum machines that suggest sly hope winking from behind those black curtains. (Sunday, 2:50pm, Austin Ventures stage)


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Melanie Haupt
Desert Door Distillery Rolls Out Large Hand Sanitizer Production
Desert Door Distillery Rolls Out Large Hand Sanitizer Production
Local sotol makers offer the critical commodity free of cost

March 20, 2020

Tibetan Dumplings Shine at Yak & Yeti in Cedar Park
Tibetan Dumplings Shine at Yak & Yeti in Cedar Park
Dishes for sharing (or not) at this tiny Nepalese restaurant

Feb. 14, 2020

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle