Eddie Halliday - Replaced By These Colours

Owain Paciuszko 30/03/2009

Rating: 4/5

Halliday's second album is enriched by his travels, mid-recording, to Argentina that like the transition from black and white to colour in The Wizard of Oz really means this album pops with technicolour rays of sunshine and life.

The voice, and occasionally the instrumentation, is very reminiscent of Brendan Benson, specifically his breakthrough record Lapalco, and whilst Halliday hasn't quite got a song as instant as Metarie he has a real arsenal of joyful, catchy folk-pop wonderment.

First track proper (after an intro) Wilderness mixes that sun-kissed Americana vibe of Benson with a dreamy, carefree sound similar to The Beatles or The Vines's Autumn Shade. As Halliday sings 'Let's escape to somewhere beautiful' you can't help but agree and think that this may be the perfect soundtrack to do just that. There's a sense of beauty and optimism to this song that filters down throughout the rest of the record in a way that is such a relief compared to angst of post-punk or the material nature of much chart music.

Halliday has crafted an album of seemingly effortless sunshine folk-pop that seems like an impossible stretch for other artists who plough the field with more commercial success. Even the laidback tracks such as Amnesia are filled with warmth, heart and invention enough to inspire involuntary head-nodding and toe-tapping, Halliday's sound seems destined to grace the stages of festivals inspiring a wave of appreciation and chilled-out swaying. I can even forgive him his fade-outs.

The penultimate track Winter's Coming is a beautiful bittersweet number with Halliday and an acoustic guitar, with occasional bursts of harmonica, telling a sad, weary smile inducing tale of a broken relationship; Halliday, his voice creaking, sings 'I'm just mad about you or maybe just mad because of you?' Is It A Stone? Is It A Fish? is the final track and it's an organ-driven, psychedelic sounding dirge that sounds like it was recorded through the walls of a Church, and it closes the record on a hopeful yet dark-edged note.

This is an album full to the brim with great tunes and songs that'll rattle around in your brain as the temperature rises; this is a great album to welcome British Summer Time with.