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Boomkat Product Review:
To follow-up the wondrous frost of Hood's last, groundbreaking album "Cold House", the band have quite obviously taken their time to formulate a new collection of songs that don't tread the same solitary path. After a dense, short intro, "Outside Closer" opens up with "the negatives" - a sort of ode to loneliness performed by Hood and several stray musicians that have at one time or another been involved with the band - including members of the Remote Viewer and Nicola Hodgkinson from the sublime Empress. The song asserts the bittersweet tone of this incredible album, the camaraderie of the recording session is almost audible, despite the lyrics "....you need to go to the furthest place from your house, stand there a while, make sure you're broke". "Any hopeful thoughts arrive" is up next, employing a stuttering rhythm section, perhaps in ode to Scott Herren whom the band openly admire. "Winter 72" is vintage Hood - a ghost of a track seeped in a reverberating dubwise aesthetic that offsets the intimacy of its production with the grey-lined shape of its noise. Truly inspired music. "Fading Hills" is another breathtaking moment - almost unbearably sad echoes of a simple piano refrain, trumpet, horns and that signature Hood percussion, the vocal you don't quite follow but that you feel you completely understand. "Outside Closer" is a very different sort of beast to "Cold House", it's much less of a "showy" album and, as a result, somewhat less instantaneous. After spending a long xmas with this album for companionship - everything has fallen into place. This is an amazing record, aided in no small part by Hodgkinson's unique voice, growing in stature and intimacy with every one of its countless repeated listens. Beautiful music.