Rarely does an album title so perfectly sum up the spirit of the music it contains. With soft harmonies, delicate instrumentation and simple melody lines Gathering Dusk finds Huw M conjuring up the perfect soundtrack for those short late-twilight minutes of a sticky summer’s evening. It’s a lovelorn, drowsy fusion of folk and psychedelia that draws as much from Sufjan as it does on Meic Stevens.
The album begins with the singalong chord progression of ‘The Perfect Silence’, its easy momentum and instant feeling of familiarity a perfect indication of the songs to follow and the album as a whole: short, well-crafted folk-pop songs.
Strings scrape and swell woozily around the sweet harmonies between Huw M and Bethan Reynolds on ‘Dyma Lhythr’, with other instruments combining to create a light, euphoric build, the gently sliding bass-line and guitar calling to mind the mellowest side of the Velvet Underground. Meanwhile, ‘Babushka, Wake Me!’ rides the swells of the french horn-driven melody, surrounding it with delicately plucked banjo and cooing harmonies. There are certainly hints of Final Fantasy and Beirut in the delivery, which may prove a little too close for some.
Gathering Dusk contains some unabashedly pretty moments, none more so than on the the slow build of ‘Martha a Mair’. After just half an hour the album draws to a close with the beautiful lullaby ‘For While I Wait For You To Sleep’. A gentle ease pervades the album, with Huw M’s fine playing on guitar, banjo, mandolin and lilting vocals rounded out by subtle, lush arrangements that give the recordings a real warmth without overwhelming them. Be it in Welsh, English or the international language of Ba Ba Ba , Huw M’s Gathering Dusk is a summery delight.