Neil Halstead

A critically esteemed veteran in the long line of sad-eyed British troubadours, Neil Halstead has a new solo album, Palindrome Hunches, that can't help but recall anguished forebears like Nick Drake's Pink Moon. The songs were written and recorded after the collapse of his longtime marriage, and the real-life circumstances behind Palindrome's creation come through in the pained weariness with which Halstead delivers admittedly borderline-generic lyrics ("Nothing left to change, you won't be disappointed anymore"), helping them land harder than they have any right to. Halstead's hushed and honeyed voice needs little in the way of ornamentation beyond an acoustic six-string, the occasional violin fill, and some subdued double bass. It's the right instrumental mix for a set of rueful ruminations, and those listeners wishing for a little more sonic variety must be the rare lucky breed who have never had their hearts broken. All ages.
Sun., Oct. 14, 9:30 p.m., 2012

 
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