ZEELLEY MOON – The Author And The Dreamer

Zeelley Moon Music 2023

The Author And The Dreamer

Not content with being a face in the progressive crowd, British band opt for a stone-the-crows approach to pouring their psyche into sound.

If the monochrome jackets of this ensemble’s digibooks are meant to suggest the wholeness of their ideas, there’s a tangible, albeit sly, logic in dressing the group’s sophomore effort in a color that’s supposed to defy the finale of eponymous debut and conceal an album that’s delivering on the promise of its follow-up projecting more restless stance. Rather varied yet unwaveringly soulful, the pieces which comprise “The Author And The Dreamer” find the band’s leader Pat Molesworth’s voice and ivories explore the furthest reaches of a creative soul – with sympathy and not without a smile rendering the entire experience as a trip with clear, if consciously confusing, sonic landmarks.

The trap for the listener is set from the start, once the first of cinematic dialogues that are scattered across the platter and the first ripple of piano and cello liberate guitar from a chamber soundscape to let the electric passages soar, anchored by vocals, to celestial heights where “Main Moon Man” marries soft twang to ethereal solemnity and poses an array of rhetorical questions. There, the elegant and occasionally elegiac, yet groovy and deceptively simple, “English Pride” edges its merry organ’s swirl dangerously close to a certain Dutch collective’s “Sylvia” riff – deliberately so. Should one doubt this flute-flaunting epic’s inner joke, contrasting the claustrophobia of the short and unhurried, yet intense, “Four Walls” which doesn’t toe a two-minute mark, the vaudevillian “Poison In My Tea” will offer regal, Brian-May-esque licks to the album’s aural palette.

All of these, though, feel like setting, and dismantling, the scene for the exquisite sentiment of “Killing The Dream” that’s laced with Jim Kelleher’s acoustic six strings and Sarah Mau’s bow, and for the insistent orchestral movements behind the vast expanse of “Where The Wind Blows” whose harmonies are sublime. However, “So Many Words” rolls towards the record’s finale via resonant depths which fathom its balladry in emotional miles and provide Molesworth and Meg Prickett’s duet with ample space for opening the song’s very heart to the elements. With passion at the fore, the ensemble’s progress has become even more exhilarating, and with the material reveries are made of expectations for their next step get high.


December 23, 2023

Category(s): Reviews
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