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Little Hands of Asphalt - Half Empty

  by Dave Goodwin

published: 27 / 5 / 2020

Little Hands of Asphalt - Half Empty
Label: Fika Recordings
Format: LP


Classic pop on third album and first in almost a decade from the Little Hands of Asphalt, the project of Sjur Lyseid who is a Norwegian-based singer-songwriter and musician

The Little Hands of Asphalt's name is a play on words on 'The Little Hands of Concrete', Elvis Costello’s liner note credits on 'Kings of America'. 'Half Empty'is their new album, their first output in almost a decade. Initially the album was released as five two-track singles and has now been followed by a full vinyl release by record company Fika Recordings. The Little Hands of Asphalt is the solo project of Sjur Lyseid, a Norwegian musician that released two records and a couple of EPs under the same moniker back in 2009-2012. Strangely the band's name has stuck as the project has evolved, despite it once being mistaken for a road building crew on Lyseid's arrival at a Norwegian festival. Their last album, 'Floors', released in 2012, received critical acclaim, and was voted the sixth best record of the year in the Norwegian national newspaper 'VG'. Despite a long absence of output from the band they pick up where they left off with hints of indie and Americana, but principally traditional, ageless pop, sometimes drifting into man with guitar. Notwithstanding citing Elliot Smith, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan and Bright Eyes as influences, this outing, as Lydeid informs us, is best described as 60's crooning (Scott Walker, Sinatra), European art pop (Serge Gainsbourg, Can), modern Nashville country and 90's (Swedish) power pop. This is not just a one man effort though. There are helpings and numerous guest appearances throughout the record, including Allo Darlin’s Elizabeth Morris on 'No Reception and members of Jaga Jazzist, Sunturns, Moddi, Making Marks and Apothek who also all contribute throughout the LP. The front cover has a picture of the man himself in anoraked hoodie standing in a launderette. And why not? This overall is a fine offering that should get the project a little more attention with this UK release than its predecessors.

Track Listing:-
1 Begin Again
2 Foreverest
3 No Reception
4 Drinking Song
5 Random Quotes From F.
6 Writing About Music
7 Dystopian Sci-fi
8 Six Feet Over
9 Accidents & Time
10 The Buildings, Then the Trees

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