If Nick Halliwell’s own recording of ‘Oil Painting’ had found its way onto record this year then I would have jumped at the opportunity to include it here. Believe me, it would have made for a tremendous double bill. Perhaps Nick will record it with a full Granite Shore group in 2011 and we can have the same song in an Unpopular advent two years in a row. That would indeed be a pleasure.
Not that this Granite Shore cut is any less a treasure. If you picked up on the epic ‘Tomorrow Morning, 3 a.m.’ 12” in 2009 then you knew what to expect of this year’s 7”. Lush orchestration, literate lyrics, seductive melodic subtlety, a vocal wrapped in whisky tinged honey. Now I am sure that you will know that The Granite Shore is essentially Nick Halliwell’s solo escapade and that on the previously mentioned 12” he found support from various Wild Swans amongst others. Well this time around Nick has found some other similarly minded musicians to colour in the songs in what is essentially Phil Wilson’s new group. And what a fine job they do, delivering a gloriously rousing backing, complete with a beautiful southern californian Spanish guitar flourish. Delicious.