‘The Fall Of Eden’ by Kenneth J Nash - scars to prove endurance, memories to take their toll(December 19, 2014)
Sometimes you hear an album that expresses so much within its music and lyrics that you know the artist concerned has plumbed wells of darkness, walked paths of despondency and through it all found a kind of resilience. ‘The Fall Of Eden’, the latest work by English singer songwriter Kenneth J Nash, is an album that reveals a hardiness of spirit enduring the depths of despair. A spirit that’s unafraid to record its troubles and pain. The drawback is to write songs that stand testimony to such anguish demands experience of its pain. Nash has the scars to prove his endurance, memories that take their toll and through a whisperingly soft delivery, a voice to bring them to life.
‘The Fall Of Eden’ captures the unrelenting blackness of regret, despair and depression. There’s also the faith of memories portrayed without any tendency towards maudlin self-pity loved by many that lay bare their souls. Nash offers an entirely pragmatic view driving in words that pierce like nails yet never reaching a point of self-sorrow. These are truths, hard and savage, evidences of reality without gloss or dramatics. Emotional loss that eats all it touches. The fracturing of connections, forfeiture of friends and losing of lovers. It’s all here – from the aching endurance of ‘Slow Burn’ through the entreaty of ‘Carol Ann’ to the anonymity of suffering in ‘New Holes in Old Shoes’ – tales told untainted and raw, without embellishment.
Through an outstanding weave of instruments, voices and musicianship, Nash’s album takes you to personal places as you try along with him to make sense of what you’re feeling. Whether it’s ‘Take Me Home’ with its supplication of sharing, the agonising reflection of ‘St Mary’s Heart’, the supremely evocative ‘The Way That She Moved’ or the defined questioning of ‘Strong’. This album touched me, and its touch runs deep. It will touch you. Nash offers this perspective: “I guess this LP like all my LPs is my way of getting the pain out of my system, there are some dark parts of my life that have haunted me for years, this LP is my lesson to humanity, kind of ‘I learnt the hard way’.”
Alongside Kenneth J Nash (vocals, guitars, percussion) on ‘The Fall Of Eden’ there’s a collection of outstanding musicians - J M Jones (guitars, keys, bass, accordion, vocals) Fran Taylor (vocals) Alan Tang (keys, accordion, violin, viola) Nye Parsons (double bass) Amber India Frost (cello, vocals) Khalil Amin (fiddle) Steevie Poole (percussion, mandolin) Mo Coulson (mermaid vocals, accordion, Irish harp) Ciara Clutterham Reihill (vocals, Irish whistle) Sean Clutterham Reihill (harp) and the Bell Ringers of St Mary’s Church Rushden.
Find Kenneth J Nash here: www.kennethjnash.com
Reviewer: Tim Carroll