My Autumn Empire - II CD

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My Autumn Empire II is a collection of subtle, 70s-tinged space pop with a hint of folk around the edges and just a whiff of psychedelia. The second album from epic45's Ben Holton was the last fruits of an old computer and a radical side step from the minimal acoustics and electronics of its predecessor, The Village Compass. Instead, the focus is on the layering of vocal harmonies, washes of vintage synth and prominent melodies.

Although reminiscent of ELO's symphonic pop or a rural English take on Grandaddy, MAEII seems to exist in a world of its own, strangely implacable. The album features the single Say It Again, perhaps the most overtly pop track, although the lyrics reveal a darker heart. "Like Sparklehorse covering The Beatles," reckons Phil from Norman Records. This Heat’s apocalyptic Sleep is then given an almost Alasdair Roberts-sounding makeover for the final track.