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Articles Home » 2014 Articles » Syd Arthur - 2014 Sound Mirror
Syd Arthur - 2014 Sound Mirror

ARTIST: Syd Arthur
ALBUM: Sound Mirror
LABEL: Harvest
SERIAL: 253706648
YEAR: 2014


LINEUP: Liam Magill - vocals, guitars * Raven Bush - violin, mandolin, keyboards * Joel Magill - bass, vocals * Fred Rother - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Garden Of Time * 02 Hometown Blues * 03 Autograph * 04 What's Your Secret * 05 All And Everything * 06 Forevermore * 07 Backwardstepping * 08 Chariots * 09 Singularity * 10 Sink Hole


There's a lot of buzz surrounding this young foursome from the heart of Canterbury. That's right Canterbury, the magical birthplace of Caravan, Soft Machine, Hatfield & the North, Kevin Ayers and the list goes on an on. In fact 'On An On' was the title of their proggy psych 2012 debut album although they had previously released a brace of EP's going back to 2008. Initially influenced by grunge, the band thankfully discovered the music that made Canterbury famous and never looked back. Signing to the newly resurrected Harvest label, former home of Pink Floyd, Barclay James Harvest, Be Bop Deluxe and other groundbreaking acts; Syd Arthur star is rising as one of NuProg's most commercially promising outfits.

The Songs
Opening with the early Utopia/Steve Hillage styled 'Garden Of Time' and I'm already on cloud nine. Superb stuff and in the all-important vocal department Liam Magill's pipes are distinctive and pleasing; specifically on the disc's infectious single 'Autograph' and the folky 'What's Your Secret'. These guys wear their influences well but it's Caravan that informs the Syd Arthur sound the most. This is not only due to the jazzy chords and pop inflected prog that stylistically ties the two bands together, but the violin of Raven Bush, nephew of the ever popular Kate Bush. Like Caravan's fiddler Geoffrey Richardson, Bush adds a classical dimension on tracks like 'Forevermore' and the short but sweet space-out jams the Syd's often fall into, in particular the Yes-like 'Singularity'.

In Summary
I can't recommend 'Sound Mirror' highly enough. It's fresh and engaging music with just enough experimentation for progheads with open minds and alternative listeners looking for something different outside of Rolling Stone or Q's limited scope. The band have played in front of both audiences supporting yacht rockers Vampire Weekend, Pixies and mod godfather Paul Weller to a major American tour this past summer with Yes. Syd Arthur is a band to watch.

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#1 | Explorer on November 10 2014 22:07:21
This release sounds very intriguing...further investigation is required.
#2 | gdazegod on November 11 2014 01:08:37
Thank god this lot left grunge behind. Prog oriented pop/rock sounds like the way to go.
#3 | Nick C on November 11 2014 19:20:08
Great review - Thanks! I Grabbed the debut Syd Arthur from 2006 a few months back. For some reason they don't list it on their website - although Wiki have it their debut album the band seem to regard On and On as their full length debut, probably right as the 2006 release is only about 30 mins long (about as long as a Van Halen album though haha!). Anyway I digress - it didn't hit me straight away but it did strike me that the band seemed to have their own unique kind of lazy groove, and it's only after repeated listens that I've come to appreciate it a little more. It's still not hooked me completely but I might have to invest in the other albums at some point though judging by this review and a few of the songs I've listen to on You tube. If Syd Arthur float your boat you may want to checkout Knifeworld too (who were touring with Amplifier in Europe...curses like both bands, could've killed 2 birds with one stone if they had kept that line up for the U.K! On top of that Knifeworld's Kavus Torabi also appears on a track of the album World Turned Upside Down by local band Trojan Horse ...get a plug in Nick!) ....Hmmm forget Britpop this is Britprog, has that been used yet (copyright me 2014!) Grin .
#4 | gdazegod on November 15 2014 21:58:06
I'm wondering whether the name of this band is a play on words, as in the founder of Buddhism.. Siddhartha..
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