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Salt House
Working for Zeus (5 song EP)

Hudson Records
Review by Chris Nickson

Listen "Working for Zeus" (excerpt)

The trio’s follow-up to Huam wasn’t recorded under ideal conditions: it happened during lockdown, with two of the members squirreled away in the Highlands of Scotland, while the third was across the sea in Shetland.

What’s remarkable is that somehow they managed to put together an EP as warm, natural and utterly comfortable as Working for Zeus. It slips in, feeling like a visit from an old friend, with Ewan Macpherson’s vocals on the opening title cut summoning up images of 80s John Martyn or more recent Ben Howard.

Voices flows and floats on thermals of music, with gentle accompaniment from the other members that gives some lush support. “Working for Zeus” is an earworm that manages to seem like a hug even as it flies free at the end.

Listen "The Day We Made A Woods" (excerpt)

The rest is good – and every bit as enigmatic in its titles – with nods towards 70s singer-songwriters on “The Day We Made A Wood” where some subtle banjo from Cahalen Morrison gently pushes the melody along.

Listen "Wood Of Dreams" (excerpt)

The trio do bring in a few guests (five in total) but use them so sparingly that it’s often hard to tell they’re even there. Perhaps it’s the nature of separate recording, but this is largely a case of less often feeling like more, like the little electric guitar filigrees haunting the back of “Wood Of Dreams” behind Lauren Maccoll’s dark fiddle and hushed vocals.

An EP is usually a holding action. But in this case it’s made with such care and attention and real elegance that it will stand proudly in the catalogue.

Find the trio online.

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