The buzz: Gorgeous piano-based songs.
You wait around for ages for a decent piano balladeer, and then two come along at once. Ralegh Long is an English counterpart to Tobias Jesso Jr; like the latter, he seems incapable of sitting at a piano and coming up with anything that doesn’t tremble with almost mystical longing.
The mystical is apparently key to Hoverance, Long’s debut album, the follow-up to 2011’s Sprawl and 2012’s The Gift EPs. The album was recorded with Tom Dougall of psych band Toy on guitar, Jack Hayter (ex-Hefner) on pedal steel and string arranger Louis-Phillipe of indie-pop orchestra A Little Orchestra.
Long sings in a breathy whisper reminiscent of Nick Drake, although sometimes his voice cracks and strains against the keening violins and pedal steel masquerading as synth tones, which will delight fans of more cultish types such as John Howard or Epic Soundtracks.