Limpid nocturnal longing on seventh album from shifting collective

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Piano Magic – The Troubled Sleep Of Piano Magic

Up to this point, Piano Magic have been a kind of This Mortal Coil manque, augmenting their line-up with a series of guest vocalists that has included Hefner’s Darren Hayman and The Czars’ John Grant. On The Troubled Sleep…, however, the lion’s share of vocals come from band ideologue Glen Johnson, creating a suite exquisitely uniform in tone, a series of waves that break in cool, mesmeric sequence. The ghosts of Joy Division (particularly “The End Of A Dark, Tired Year”), Durutti Column (the beautiful chimes of “Saint Marie”), even The Cure and early New Order haunt this lovely, unsettling record whose stealthy, witching-hour atmospherics are ultimately utterly overwhelming.