‘The Dream of Animals’ from Neil Cousin - ominous shades, sorrowful echoes, deep-felt memories

(September 21, 2016)

There’s a sombre darkness running through ‘The Dream of Animals’, the latest album from Neil Cousin. Listeners will find ominous shades of failed love, sorrowful echoes of what might have been, deep-felt memories best forgotten and an all pervading sense of dread touched with black humour. Much as I hate The Dream of Animals Neil Cousincomparing artists, and indeed with this reference I’m not actually making a comparison but I kept hearing overtones of Jake Thackray and Leonard Cohen coming through these songs, both in delivery and lyrical content, and that’s not criticism, merely an observation.

From the opening mysteries of ‘My Unknown Companion’ through the macabre tones of ‘Leg Bone Flute’ to the sardonic ruminations of ‘Happy Ending Vampire Story’ the interaction of voice and instrumentation holds you throughout. The high spots for me were the ghostly apparition brought out of ‘Lock Keeper’s Daughter’, the tragic trail of sadness that is ‘Black Dog’ and relishing a haunting realisation that permeates the title track.

This is an album of involving, convoluted lyrics delivered by a mournful all-absorbing voice surrounded by subtle and delicate instrumentation.


Review: Charlie Elland

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