Gravenhurst is the work of singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Nick Talbot who lives in Bristol, England. The Ghost In Daylight, his fourth full-length album for Warp Records, has been met with overwhelming praise, resulting in the biggest UK shows so far, with two London dates selling out months in advance and a headline slot at End Of The Road Festival. Strong support from BBC 6 Music led to a live session for Lauren Laverne, and Nick’s engaging and eloquent interview style has seen him conducting countless interviews with international press and a Guardian Music Weekly podcast discussion with Michael Hann.
Critics have picked up on the album’s sophisticated themes of English mythology, political history and hidden geography, with Mojo describing “a memory-haunted journey through the dead voices and deep narratives of England’s lost – broadside ballads culled from earth and air”. Q magazine went further, stating “Warp’s unsung genius delivers a mellow masterpiece… Nick Talbot has made an album as good as anything his revered record label has released in the last decade…evocative of Nick Drake’s understated English melancholia and the lush, moody atmospherics of late-70’s Brian Eno. An exquisite, unexpected gem”. The Guardian hailed “terrific understated songs with a church-like serenity… Talbot is one of music’s best kept secrets”.
A dark and atmospheric place, ever-changing and conjured from disparate ingredients, Gravenhurst’s roots lie in the melodic noise of My Bloody Valentine, the lush vocal harmonies of Simon and Garfunkel, the alchemical guitars of Richard Thompson and Johnny Marr, and the widescreen ambient visions of Brian Eno. Over the course of six startling releases, Talbot has developed and retained a unique identity across multiple genres. Talbot’s haunting and powerful voice, virtuoso guitar work, ethereal production and mysterious lyrical themes ensure that Gravenhurst is a consistent yet ever evolving sound-world, and one with a particularly fanatical cult following.
While Nick began performing solo, singing and fingerpicking a guitar, the addition of other Bristol musicians propelled Gravenhurst into a powerful live band, touring extensively across Europe, and the USA, both as a headline act and as support to bands including Broadcast, Belle and Sebastian, Explosions In The Sky, Animal Collective, and Paul Smith (Maximo Park). The release of The Ghost In Daylight saw the formation of a new three-piece Gravenhurst Ensemble, featuring Rachel Lancaster on vocals, bass guitar and keyboards, and Claire Adams on vocals and percussion. The ensemble expands on the eerie intimacy and cinematic ambience of the recordings to encompass haunting three part vocal harmonies in a set that builds slowly from choral melancholy to a sustained wall of noise and drone.