Blackfield is the collaborative project between Israeli and British songwriters and musicians, Aviv Geffen and Steven Wilson, which began back in 2004 with their self-titled debut album. They followed that with a further four albums with the last, V released last year. This collection has been “curated” by Geffen and Wilson, pulling together an impressive selection of songs, fifteen in all, that gives an impressive insight into what they do. So much so that I think this selection would interest new listeners, encouraging them to investigate further.
The selections are taken from across the five albums, with the debut and Blackfield V faring the best with four tracks each, Blackfield II and Welcome To My DNA next with three each, and Blackfield IV providing just a single track. The music has an alternative, pop/rock feel, with the songs having a sensitive beauty; mellow at times but with some angrier moments occasionally intercut throughout. The successful parts of this partnership include some wonderful song writing, coupled with multi layered use of instruments, although things never feel cluttered, each instrument having room to breathe and express itself.
The album starts off with their namesake song from the debut, a song that sets out their statement of intent for a lot of what follows. Great song writing, melody, playing and very emotive at times. The songs here are within the three to five minute duration, concise but able to catch your interest. All the songs here are of a very good standard featuring acoustic guitar and bursts of electric wrapped around some evocative piano, accompanied at times with strings. This goes to create a sound that is recognisable as Blackfield with lush melodies and reflective lyrics.
My particular favourites have been included; Blackfield, Open Mind, the beautifully played 1000 People with its keyboard led, acoustic guitar feel, Hello and Once, all outstanding tracks for me. The album concludes with End Of The World, another excellent song, beautifully paced and awash with strings which give it a lovely sound. As you would expect the sound quality is excellent, clean and precise with clarity between all the instruments and the vocals.
Aviv and Steven have created a fine collection of their work here, and a good yard stick to measure their output against. If you are not familiar with their catalogue, this is a great place to start. The album will be available on CD, Vinyl (2LP yellow) and digital download.
01. Blackfield (4:27)
02. Family Man (3:37)
03. Open Mind (3:49)
04. 1000 People (3:54)
05. Oxygen (3:00)
06. Hello (3:09)
07. Once (4:03)
08. How Was Your Ride (3:58)
09. Waving (3:56)
10. From 44 To 48 (4:31)
11. Pain (3:47)
12. October (3:31)
13. Faking (3:33)
14. Dissolving With The Night (4:07)
15. End Of The World (5:14)
Total Time – 58:36
Aviv Geffin – Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
Steven Wilson – Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
Seffy Efrati – Bass
Eran Mittelman – Piano, Hammond Organ
Tomer Z – Drums
Record Label: Kscope
Date Of Release: 28th September 2018