The duo of Ben Holton and Rob Glover released their first record as Epic45 a decade ago; where they first introduced their summery, nostalgic summery music. However, they have never sounded quite so haunted as they do on their new mini album ‘In All The Empty Houses’, which hangs heavy with a sense of lost love.
From its chiming tune to its delicate vocals ‘We Were Never Here’ recalls the innocent simplicity of The Field Mice. The similarly fragile ‘Daylight Ghosts’ speaks of teenage romance; its fey harmonies saved from soppiness by some deliciously crisp drumming from ex-Slowdive man Simon Scott, whilst the title track and elegiac instrumental ‘Their Voices In The Rafters’ – despite the modern beats – are both gentle and wistful.
Epic45’s lyrics have tended to get lost amongst the gorgeous music they generate, yet this time some of the words are impossible to ignore. ‘The Future Is Blinding’ consists of just two repeated lines. “You said there must be more to life than this. How much more do you want?” sighs Holton despairingly amidst the jangly guitars; as if two long-standing partners are facing up to the fact that they are growing apart. All very poignant but Glover and Holton save their best to the last with the simply brilliant ‘Ghosts On Tape’. “Birds don’t fly, they just stop themselves from falling” would sound childishly out of place in lesser hands but here it’s sung beautifully over infectious layers of Hood-like rustic melody to create a heart-stopping and beautiful moment.
Granted, ‘In All The Empty Houses’ may only be a twenty-five minutes long but it would be difficult to find a release which matched it for sheer emotion. Ten years on, Glover and Holton are just getting better and better at bringing on the heartache.
Hood, The Field Mice