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Music Review

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Kingsdown Sundown


Artist: Will Varley
Label: Xtra Mile Recordings
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 04 November 2016

Will Varley's fourth album, Kingsdown Sundown, is released through Xtra Mile Recordings. Once again he continues to build upon broken spirits with this set of almost unbearably raw songs.

It's a stripped back acoustic affair which is hard to pull off if you don't have the raw talent, as everything is laid bare before the listener. Recorded underneath a pub by the sea in Deal, Kent as the waves roared outside, Kingsdown Sundown is a bleak and uncompromising critique of the human condition, journeying deep into our dreams, faults, regrets and politics. The songs are more visceral and uneasy than before, with fights in KFC descending into world wars, the all too real plight of refugees and the recent rise in hate crime. A collection of folk songs written over the course of the last year while travelling and touring – written on tour buses and trains, scribbled on the back of set lists and receipts.

Varley states that these 11 tracks (44 min, 43 sec) are the most honest songs he's ever written and represent new ground for him creatively and it's hard to disagree with him. In places this feels like a musical diary of the times we are currently living through.

He kicks it up a gear with 'We Want Our Planet Back' (which also incorporates chords played on an electric guitar over the acoustic set); and 'Too Late Too Soon'.

It's an enjoyable, diverse album that you should get hours of listening pleasure out of.


Nick Smithson

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