Album review: Silverhours – Madeleine Moment

Experimentation and attention to detail are king on Silverhours’ adventurous and rewarding debut LP Madeleine Moment

Over the last few months, emerging London-based artist Silverhours has been releasing some initial singles in the run up to the release of his debut LP Madeleine Moment, a creative and thought-provoking showcase of the artist’s unique creative flair and sonic palette, fusing genres like electronica, lo-fi and jazz from his home studio. This penchant for experimentation and DIY approach has provided the artist with something truly exploratory and unique, that does a perfect job of establishing the artist and what they are about.

The EP opens with ‘Daffodils’, a track that characterises this adventurous and distinctive style, following an atmospheric and brooding start, the track pairs skittish beats and lo-fi sensibilities with absorbing, thoughtful vocals and lyrics, something that becomes a theme of an album that primarily explores themes like love, passion and sorrow. The track has a lot of unique sonic textures to it throughout, and does a great job of establishing the tone and eclectic nature of what is to come.

The artist’s latest single ‘The Miser’ follows, a track that highlights the more melodic nature of the artist’s sound, while maintaining the quirky, restless flair that provides Silverhours with such a uniquely captivating and distinctive appeal. You can really feel the hours of finetuning and painstaking detailing that has gone into this sound, with every intricacy and little idea or progression feeling meaningful and considered.

Things slow down a little one ‘One Day’ and ‘Track By Track’, with the artist’s more atmospheric and cinematic tendencies taking centre stage, but not without the artist’s lush little subtleties lighting up the background of the more stripped-back affairs. The former has an almost Radiohead-like feel to the way that the track builds, and manages to showcase its eccentricities and creativity while maintaining a real sense of heart and rawness, while the latter takes on a more cerebral and tension-packed approach, creating an impending sense of dread through the darkness of the sound before growing into something enlighteningly grand and charming.

The lead single from the LP is ‘Doldrums’, a track that is unequivocally the artist’s biggest success to date, and it is easy to see why, melding the artist’s sonic idiosyncrasies with gorgeous guitars and engaging, melodic vocals. The track twists and turns in the way that we have come to expect from Silverhours, but everything here just seems to fit perfectly and scratch your brain in just the right place to feel like a satisfying and rewarding listen.

Following a moody bit of respite in the form of the immersive interlude ‘The Coastline’, we dive into ‘Hotel Room’, a restless and expansive release that is more than happy to subvert your expectations, introducing left-field sonic surprises throughout to compliment the expansive palette of sounds, driven by razor sharp drumming that steers the track with an emphatic sense of drive. As the track reaches its rewarding climax, it really reinforces just how much love and creativity has been poured into this LP, with no corners cut or ideas replicated.

The emotional climaxes of the album comes in the form of its final two tracks, the first of which being ‘Sad Letter’, a track that sees the artist explore themes like love and loss alongside a genuinely stirring soundscape that melds strings and guitars with a poignant intimacy. As the track reaches its conclusion, the introduction of trumpets and the artist’s wailing vocals make for a stunning and impactful finale, bringing a sense of catharsis that feels intense in contrast to the more subdued nature of the track.

Things close out with the off-kilter ‘Petrichor’, a near seven minute long track that grows and mutates throughout, despite the more muted nature of the sound. This track feels like Silverhours at his most vulnerable and raw, exploring the more fragile aspects of his sound and writing before the tension eventually gives way to another musical release. A theme of these albums has been these tense and building tracks that have grown and swelled throughout before the dam finally breaks and the sounds kind of explode onto the scene, making for these euphoric moments that feel earned and special.

On the whole, Madeleine Moment is a really memorable statement of a debut album, every track here feels creative and different, with the artist’s distinctive DNA all over them. The tracks feel cinematic and adventurous, with license to explore different ideas and sounds in a way that never feels meandering or forced. Each track here has a unique flavour and mood to it, from the euphoric to the more subdued, and it really speaks to the nuance and talent that Silverhours and his collaborators have infused this sound with such a defining, exciting style