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Hard Kandy - Last To Leave

Hardkandy, Last To Leave

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

HARD Kandy remain one of the UK’s most under-rated chill out acts in spite of storming sets at festivals such as The Big Chill last year.

A soothing mix of Zero 7 style mellowness and Nightmares on Wax dreaminess, their album Hard To Leave is, like its title suggests, hard to put down once you’ve picked it up.

Kicking off with the serenely beautiful Dizzy Dumb, the album then proceeds to deliver a quietly captivating set of 10 tracks that are of a consistently high quality.

Dizzy Dumb builds some lush melodies and piano chords around the deeply soulful vocals of Sean Clarke, who is sure to draw favourable comparisons with the style of Zero 7’s Mozez.

It’s followed by the moody Triage, a slow-builder that drops the sort of beats that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Nightmares on Wax LP albeit with something of a cinematic sweep. The chiming melodies lend the track a haunting, hypnotic quality.

Former single Advice drops in the teary-eyed vocals of Terry Callier for another deeply soulful workout that is as haunting as it is melancholy, especially when the strings ease in.

Things get a little more upbeat during Brown Eyed Girl, with its short, sharp guitar riffs, while John Hughes drops some deliciously bluesy vocals on Three Days which perfectly compliments the snappy beats, catchy guitars of Will Holland and the Motown-esque horns.

Elsewhere, there’s a grittier edge to Hold On, which includes lyrics and vocals from Gary Pinto and a funky piece of bass from Richard Brittain.

And an enchanting beauty to Loose Ends that provokes images of carefree walks on bright, sunshine filled days.

Clarke makes a welcome return on Jack of Clubs, another late-night smoocher that helps draw things to a classy finale.

Put together as a whole Last To Leave is a deliciously feel-good effort that delicately walks the line between trip-hop and funk. It looks destined to become one of the year’s finest chillout discoveries.

Track listing:

  1. Dizzy Dumb
  2. Triage
  3. Advice – Hardkandy & Terry Callier
  4. Brown Eyed Girl
  5. Three Days
  6. State Of You
  7. Hold On
  8. Loose Ends
  9. Jack Of Clubs
  10. Alright