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Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Publisher - Empty Hands ep (NHC Music/itsaxxxxthing review)

From the moment play is pressed you can hear that Publisher aka Arno Blok is happy to freely share his influences.
There’s the tremulous vocal of Neil Young, some Bends era Radiohead and hints of MUSE lurking within the songs.
And maybe a bit of Jeff Buckley is in there to, but then when the trumpet arrives on ‘Empty Hands it is clear that he understands how to use what has come before as something that can be a foundation to grow from, and not solely to emulate.
It’s something that many artists are unable to do.
Each song written becomes little more that a faded facsimile of a work by their musical muse.
So it’s refreshing to hear something that is so clearly a bridge from the past into the future.
Influences should be the building blocks that artists can stand on to reach for the stars, and reaching for the stars could have been the title of this ep as Publisher isn't looking to pull any punches.
This is the real deal.
He wants it all, but on his terms.
Here is the talent he possesses fully laid out for all to experience.
As the ep progresses there’s a great deal of intimacy attached, a degree of honesty in the lyrics that is magnetically attractive to the listener.
You can float on the songs, drift along with them and feel them reaching out to be embraced.
It’s organically emotional and very very human.
In a wider sense there is a also something rather cinematic about the over all sound, and if we close our eyes we can immerse ourselves in the flow and be the supporting cast to the stories that Publisher is looking to tell.
In many ways this is a release that can be held up to others as an example of how to stay true to their artistic self and create powerful music that doesn't require a tip of the hat from the mainstream to give it any validity.
If Publisher was to indulge in sharing his talents with a television talent show then there is little doubt that he could make the judges and audience swoon, but that he doesn't feel it necessary to sell his art short to do that is our gain and their loss.
Time will tell where the path he is on will lead him, but to take this back full circle and mention artists like Radiohead and Muse consider this.
In hindsight would you love to own one of their very early releases?
Would you have wanted to have seen the nascent talent on display and invested in it?
If the answer is yes to both then sadly that ship has sailed, but there’s time to board Publishers.

Link to NHC online CD and merch sales for this item forthcoming.  

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