From the beginning of “Under Her Sails”, there is something immediately soothing about Malpas’ sound, found here on their debut full-length album, Rain, River, Sea.  Essentially a duo, Malpas is the brainchild of producer/engineer Andy Savours and songwriter Ali Forbes.  Atmospheric, melody, rhythm – a strongly danceable sense – it all adds up to an interesting and fine combination.

The beauty of “Under Her Sails” notwithstanding, “Where The River Runs” builds in layers and hits a groove when you least expect it, then shifts directions in a manner that works; “Sea Decide” is awash (!) with a warm vintage synth wave into gentle harmony-laden vocals and acoustic guitar and “Promise” is both delicate and slightly haunting in a lovely, simple way.  “The Green Light” is a tight, tense, deliberately understated groove with taut rhythm and again, delicious harmonies; “Charlemagne” has a soundtrack-like dynamic to it, with warm acoustic guitar and subdued vocals and “Here Comes The Rain” is laden with strings and mandolin, giving it a classic English folk feel.

A very strong, embracing debut; a collection of songs that’s very easy to embrace and let wash over you.  Definitely a welcome addition to my collection.  Keep your eyes and ears primed on Malpas.


Rain, River, Sea is available now

About the Author

Rob Ross

Rob Ross has been, for good, bad or indifferent, involved in the music industry for over 30 years - first as guitarist/singer/songwriter with The Punch Line, then as freelance journalist, producer and manager to working for independent and major record labels. He resides in Staten Island, New York with his wife and cats; he works out a lot, reads voraciously, loves Big Star and his orange Gretsch. Doesn't that make him neat?

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