Bastien Keb – The Only Angel I’ve Ever Saw Wore Black – Def Pressé

Diving into depths can’t always be an easy option to take, especially given some of the unknown quantities searched for here, located who knows where. Consequently Bastien Keb’s fifth album seeks answers in spiritual places, albeit sometimes hidden in darker corners. And while it’s easy to comment on the cinematic nature flowing throughout this collection of bittersweet compositions, I guess that’s simply because it’s so stunningly picturesque, conjuring all sorts of images up as it progresses along this path of discovery. Thankfully, the ghost of Bernard Herrmann remains as present as ever.

There are a number of truly epic moments to be discovered such as the quite interludes proposed by the softly spoken, yet devastating voice of Anne-Sophie Dubois Gaché who adorns Lost In The Sunflowers and This Isn’t Real as they cruise harmoniously along main-street in the heat of night. Mould/Paris is likewise hauntingly beautiful like lost tomorrows which never seem to arrive. Gears then shift from mood to impulse on numbers such as Dotty which occupies the spaces formulated by a strange funk, or on the melodic rush of Animals, or the orchestral empathy played out by Nigel. However, for me it’s that selection of bruising, melancholy situated in tempting avenues which rings most tellingly across the work. For these pieces of the jigsaw fall endlessly into place in timeless, wonderful ways.

Release: September 8

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