Lush four-track loveliness from the North Country
Sheffield’s Duncan Sumpner has chosen an appropriate name for his home-recorded, one-man-band project. Hearing this hushed record—with Sumpner’s fragile voice multi-tracked to sound like both Simon and Garfunkel—and its ringing acoustic-guitar picking, slathered with a thick coat of reverb, one can’t help but think of pastoral scenes in the English countryside. The songs—solemn, liturgical and often beautiful—seem disconcertingly private; the delivery lacks self-consciousness and, at times, is almost too delicate. These recordings were initially intended as a demo but the label decided to release them as they were. You get the sense Sumpner is singing for himself and not the world, which, for this sort of music, is the way it should be.