ex-everything but the girl man’s solo music is a meeting of worlds: languid folk, distorted rock & fizzing electronics.
the album’s genesis sprang from watt’s desire to focus on his own, new music as opposed to aiding other musicians with songwriting & production. it is, in ben's words, 'simply a folk-rock record in an electronic age'. the meeting of electronic & acoustic soundworlds is, in part, a result of the album's two central collaborators, ex-suede guitarist, bernard butler, & berlin-based producer ewan pearson. the album also includes one other unexpected stellar cameo on ‘the levels’ - pink floyd's david gilmour. deluxe edition includes bonus demo tracks & a live recording. “pastoral folk rock with menaces, wistful natural imagery ringed by the ugly obstacles of modern life” 4/5 – mojo “stark, beautiful return” 8/10 – uncut “a lyric-led experience that suggests therapeutic release” 4/5 –q.