Review – Zeelley Moon – The Author And The Dreamer

“Music is the moonlight in the gloomy night of life.”John Paul Friedrich Richter

That’s a nice quote and as soon as I saw it, I knew it would be the lead line for this review for listening to this second album from Zeelley Moon, you do feel an instant affinity to the music and a feeling of warmth, light and goodwill falls over you. To put it simply, it’s bloody gorgeous…

Zeelley Moon is Pat Molesworth backed by his band mates, including some of the finest musicians. ‘The Author and the Dreamer’ features seven totally rocking melodic rock vocal tracks including one acoustic and one jazz-rock instrumental that bring to mind the progressive pop-rock sound of music legends Supertramp, piano rock legends like Billy Joel, Elton John with the melancholy of Pink Floyd. The album focuses perhaps slightly indulgently on a stream of consciousness and things we are troubled by or simply observing. There are often more questions than answers.’

Along with Pat (hammond organ, keyboards, arrangements, vocals), Zeelley Moon comprises Jim Kelleher (guitars, bass), Aled Peter Lloyd (drums), Sarah Mau (cello, violin), Katherine Sparks (flute), Meg Prickett (vocals) and Steve Picking (bass tracks 1 & 6).

Pat kindly sent me the wonderfully packaged CD which, in this age of digital everything, is a very nice touch. With excellent artwork complete with lyrics and intriguing photography, Zeelley Moon’s CD packaging features a hardbound book-like Digibook & CD.

Well, from the first note of opening track Main Moon Man the lush music and Pat’s earnest vocals instantly grab your attention. Yes, there is something of the piano rock vibe about it but, what I hear is a glorious meeting of English legends XTC and pastoral progressive rock luminaries Big Big Train and what a triumphant melding of sounds it is! A song about who you are but how it might take somebody telling you for you to believe it. A lovely violin and piano lead the track in before Jim’s echoing guitar heralds Pat’s vocals, the expressive bass and drums adding even more pathos to this rather impressive album opener. English Pride might be the thing relied upon as a default during a problematic period in which it wasn’t noticed but it’s ok “because everyone has problems right, and besides, we’re too proud to make a fuss and we’re alright now anyway, but thanks for trying”. This eccentric but highly intriguing songs opens with a busy piano line before a soulful guitar hits you right in the heart and then we’re off again with a wonderfully evocative guitar and piano that invoke those giants of English guitar rock XTC and just check out that fantastic Hammond organ! The lyrics and general vibe of the song (especially the flute and violin) bring to my mind the inventive songwriting of Big Big Train and just give this song a feel of nostalgia and of better times long gone, a feeling even more enhanced by the laid back instrumental part of the song. It’s a highly effective pice of music and has rapidly become one of my favourite tracks of this year. Four Walls is a short piece about breaking free from one’s own self-imposed limitations and has a real emotive feel to it. The shimmering guitar and keyboards and choir like vocals give a real dreamlike, almost surreal, feel.

Killing The Dream opens with a wistful atmosphere, yearning vocals and delicate piano and guitar that transport you in to a warm and hazy English summer where our protagonist appreciates the simpler things in life like either dropping his own children at school or observing happy children from his car while paused at a traffic light and reflects on the positive influence of the woman in his life. There’s beautifully ethereal violin that winds around the elegant guitar along with a subtle cello and the whole song has you reflecting about your own place in the world. Where the wind Blows doesn’t offer answers to the questions posed; only perhaps helps us to reflect from the options offered and takes us back to that superb XTC/Big Big Train axis, perhaps with added piano rock this time. I love the energy and almost restrained urgency that pushes this dazzling track along and Jim’s guitar playing is utterly sublime. The vocals and the way the song unfolds in its near ten minute running time does bring to mind something of the ‘piano man’ Christopher Cross and Billy Joel style but with added English peculiarity. There is something just ‘right’ about this album and the music, it is ‘proper’ music to my ears, music that Pat has worked on and deliberated over and spent many hours creating and I think it is just stunning.

Poison in my Tea is what you suspect when something just doesn’t taste right. You can sense it but you can’t quite figure out what it is. The news, popular opinion, big businesses all have an influence, sometimes helped along by an interest or just human nature and our need to be in a tribe. A musical rant with lost of humour and plenty of tongue in cheek, the vocals very reminiscent of Glenn Tilbrook, in fact the song has definite hints of Squeeze in the guitar and the keyboards/piano, that English idiosyncracy coming to the fore once again and making for a highly entertaining and satisfying song. So Many Words are spoken, sometimes wisely, but patterns of behaviour persist and maybe you’re going around in circles. Pursuing one area of excellence in your life is a nice distraction but for how long? A beautifully written and performed song where Pat joins forces with the stirring vocals of Meg Prickett to give a deeply touching song that is enhanced by the stylish and soulful guitar from Jim and Pat’s stellar keyboards. The chic rhythm section adds a real jazz influence to this sharp, polished track and closes the album on a composed and assured note.

I just love music that moves me and affects me on an emotional level. ‘The Author and the Dreamer’ connects with you in your sub-conscious, the songwriting and performances are second to none and Zeelley Moon’s innate Englishness and idiosyncracies are what make this music so appealing and enjoyable and one of my albums of 2023. Do yourselves a favour and get your hands on it as soon as you can!

Released 20th November, 2023.

Download and streaming on iTunes, Spotify, YouTube Music and the usual others.

Physical Album sales available on or direct at

Review GIANTSKY – Giant Sky II – by John Wenlock-Smith

GIANTSKY‘Giant Sky II’ is unusual for me in that it is well outside of any comfort zone that I occupy. This album, though it interests me, it’s a challenge and that makes it worthy of my time and effort, it’s good to be challenged musically at times and who knows what you may discover on the way…

So that is the attitude in which I approached this album, knowing absolutely nothing about the project except the blurb that says it is a amalgam of musical styles and influences including Nick Drake, Mogwai, shoegaze (whatever that means?) and, last but not least, the Blade Runner soundtrack, well that certainly piqued my interest as I consider Blade Runner and its soundtrack to be utter masterpieces.

Looking at a dictionary definition of ‘shoegaze’ in music it is revealed to be ‘A style of rock music in which the distinctions between separate instruments and vocals are blurred’, this term apparently came from bands who had that sound in part because they were looking down at effects pedals used in making it, which helps a little I guess.

Let’s get down to the main event; GIANTSKY are from Norway, main man Erlend Viken is the songwriter for Soup and this is a collaboration with the Trondheim Symphonic OrchestraCombos, WZRD, Motorpsycho, Hanne Mjøen and more.

So what is all the fuss about or is it just hyperbole, does this have any musical merit or is it just tosh? Read on to find out…

The album opens, as does almost every progressive influenced or affiliated album nowadays, with Origin Of Species, an instrumental with a growling synth and almost Close Encounters Of The Third Kind notes that shimmer in the sound before a broader sweep of orchestrations is introduced. It’s all very effective and fairly traditional in tone, which cannot be said of the next track, Imposter, which begins with an acoustic guitar chugging with an echoed,reverbed vocal and the introduction of a fine female vocal. A distorted, fuzzy guitar then briefly enters the fray before disappearing, the female voice returning before a guitar and synth solo appears and the guitar solo plays out for the remainder of the track. Speak Through Walls opens with gentle acoustic guitar and a delicate female vocal once more, The track has some fine piano lines and also some lovely orchestral events (initially the flute) which sound really grand. A deep synth bass is added to the sound palette and the tinkling piano evokes Blade Runner, as does the sequence where an effect laden guitar plays with good use of tremolo effects. The latter part of the song is very busy and intense in sound, almost bordering on distortion, but it’s still a highly effective track nonetheless.

Space Farrier opens with piano and synths before an electronic drumbeat is added, all very 1980’s in tone, making it very intriguing. The songs then gains in intensity and the drums become more intense than before. This track is instrumental throughout its duration with great effects in the middle section, all very over the top and Hawkwind like in parts before the tinkling piano returns to tame the sound somewhat. A heavier synth bass is added to the mix most effectively as the track draws to a close ,with more tinkling piano. A very impressive track that segues into The Present with engagingly gentle guitar and keyboard washes which create big open sounds that compliment the narrative from Eckhart Tolle. To The Pensieve is far more moody and downbeat in tone and amidst it all are lots of chattering synths and a graceful piano along with more tremelo guitar lines. It is actually rather sweet and gentle, I really like this track as it has a great atmosphere to its sound. The song wells in the middle part, growing in intensity as it builds up in power before returning to the gentle sound once again with more flute and woodwinds playing. A couple of shorter tracks follow, namely Dispatch Of Species and Curbing Lights, the former is an atmospheric instrumental with a drone type melody and what sounds like a pipe organ, especially in the bottom end. Curbing Lights is a more sprightly number with synth and what sounds like Theramin effects and a busy drum pattern playing around everything in what is almost a wall of sound, it is very effective indeed.

The album’s longest track I Am The Night opens pretty gently with more piano and a good bass line sitting alongside the acoustic guitar. An electric guitar line then plays joined by ethereal vocals before a strong bass motif is played and a flute joins in. This is superbly constructed and performed, a double bass drum rhythm and then a decidedly more aggressive section begins with increasing sound and intensity. There are some impressive guitar lines added within the overall sound and, as such, are perhaps a little buried in the mix by all that is happening around it. It is definitely an interesting track but one that is maybe too busy at times, which stops it being the best track on the album, just my opinion though! Birds With Borders opens with a lovely folk section and more fine vocals. This initially gentle song builds in its intensity, creating its own unique voice in the journey and it certainly makes a mark, as do the excellent orchestrations that form part of its sound. Tables Turn is a harder sounding track with great effects and excellent male and female vocals, almost heading into atmospheric ambient territory. The penultimate track is King In  Yellow and it’s very interesting with lots going on and lots of orchestral embellishments along with a slow burning, almost sedate, rhythm section and lots of effects. There’s a sustained, almost Mike Oldfield-like biting guitar line within the mix as it powers onwards. It may only be a short track but, for me, it’s a great one that really connects.The album closes with Seeds which has another gentle opening, with duetting vocals, a sturdy piano motif and swirling sounds. It’s pretty lush overall with fine synth lines, all heavily modulated which sound really effective as they build and climb well, taking the song forward. A great guitar line is played as the song begins to wind down. This track is well delivered and epic in tone and it sounds really good, especially on headphones, as the song and album end on long sustained tones.

I really can’t quite make up my mind about this album, it certainly is very interesting, immersive and sounds fantastic in parts. However, I personally found it overlong and at times difficult to really get into, perhaps I need to hear the first album and then this one played one after the other. There’s no denying the musicianship and songwriting skills on show but I would suggest that you listen first before investing, it’s your choice.

Released 1st December, 2023.

Order from bandcamp here:


Review – Orion – Passing Through

Orion is the musical project of the hugely talented, and very humble, Ben Jones and John Wenlock-Smith reviewed Orion’s debut release, ‘The End Of Suffering’, earlier this year and was mightily impressed, closing his review with this paragraph;

“There is great musicianship and intelligence to this album, all in all ‘The End of Suffering’ is a most wonderful release, I highly commend it to all, especially those who like their prog harder and less symphonic.”

I had to heartily agree with John, the fact that it was totally self-financed by Ben and he wrote, performed and produced every single note was also worthy of much appreciation. Now, as Ben works on his second full length album, he has released a taster of the Orion’s musical direction with this new E.P. ‘Passing Through’. Ben gives us some background to this new release;

‘”Passing Through’ is a mini release, aimed at giving people an insight into where Orion will be headed next. It features three new songs, and hopefully breaks some new musical ground. There is also an extended version available, which also includes instrumental mixes of the three new tracks“, He goes on to say, With ‘Passing Through,’ I’ve been keen to implement different time signatures, more intricate playing, wider soundscapes, and generally take a bit more of an adventurous path with the music. Beyond expanding my synth library, I’ve also added some orchestral sample packs into my musical palette. I’m no Michael Kamen, but it’s been exciting to resurrect my music theory knowledge, and apply it to strings, woodwind and horn sections.  I’ve also added a seven-string guitar and a five-string bass to the mix, resulting in at least one track which is, I dare say, verging on heavy.

So, without further ado, let’s dig into these three new tracks…

The opening track The Tumult of My Heart was inspired by a book of the same name by Jason Spencer from The Prog Mind. The book is about trying to deal with religious trauma from the author’s past. The song itself tries to deal with these issues. There are many good elements to religion, and there are many bad elements. That’ simplifying it a tad, but you get the picture. As for the music, well, what can I say, an imposing wall of sound is created by the layered widescreen guitar sound and the powerful rhythm section but the vocals add some real heart and soul so it’s not just a metal track. There’s a searching passion and questioning mind at the heart of this powerfully emotive piece of music and a feeling of fragility and a soul laid bare. It’s very compelling and influential and a great start to the E.P.

My favourite song of the three is The Ghosts Among Us, it is a profound piece of music written about the gut wrenching experience of caring for someone with a profound disability. Whilst it’s not something Ben has had to do, it is something he’s witnessed first hand. And I myself have a real affinity with this track as I have some experience of this myself and which came all flooding back as I listened to this brilliantly written song.

Ultimately, it’s almost as if they’re no longer alive, other than physically. You can read their vital signs, but can you read them as a person? I can’t imagine having to make the decision to switch off the things that are keeping some people alive, but I also can’t imagine the horror of being trapped in an unresponsive body.

Genres go out of the window when there is a subject as deep as this, it is just beautifully enlightened and discerning music that treats the subject matter with the gravity it deserves, a hauntingly graceful guitar opens the song before the hushed vocal enters, adding an earnest, insightful quality, before the drums and superb bass lay down a dynamic rhythm and Ben’s vocal takes over. I can’t really describe how the music touches you and makes you feel, you’ll just have to listen to it yourself, suffice to say I felt enlightened by the sensitive way the subject is dealt with on this utterly captivating track, bravo to Ben for getting it perfect, much like the superb guitar solo…

After the emotional roller coaster of the previous track, the in-your-face metal infused prog of This Sickness and it’s diatribe on the negativity of social media is just about spot on.

“When I finally become the Supreme Ruler of Earth, Tik Tok will be burned to the ground… Vote for me. I’m not a fan of social media. It’s just terrible. I appreciate the irony of the fact that my entire following is based around Facebook and Bandcamp, but that’s different. I don’t do absurd dances to terrible music… I write my own terrible music. As with all things, there are good parts and bad parts. In my view, the bad parts of social media seem to outnumber the good.”

And, man, is this track angry! Crunching guitars in the style of ‘Train Of Thought’ era Dream Theater and drums that are hewn out of granite open this thunderously compelling track. The vocals are distinct and authoritarian and the whole song just bleeds a potent intent. This is ‘proper’ prog-metal that puts a smile on my face, and not just because of the subject matter. The musicianship is sublime and Ben just seems to be having a whale of a time, venting his frustration in the best way he knows how. It’s a riot from beginning to end and I seriously enjoyed it.

It’s not often I review E.P’s but, knowing it was the follow up to Orion’s stunning debut album and a glimpse into Ben’s future musical direction, I just had to review this one. I am so glad I did, ‘Passing Through’ shows a musician highly confident in his abilities and features songwriting of the highest calibre. It’s a monumental achievement in only three songs and I cannot wait for what comes next, I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Released 1st December, 2023.

Order from bandcamp here;

Passing Through | Orion (

And, for the measly additional cost of £1, you can get the extended edition with the instrumentals here:

Passing Through – Extended Edition | Orion (

Review – D’Virgilio, Morse & Jennings – Sophomore – by John Wenlock-Smith

‘Sophomore’, the second album from the triumvirate of Nick D’Virgilio, Neal Morse and Ross Jennings, comes roughly two years after their debut album ‘Troika’ and, once again, we see three distinctly different voices blend together harmoniously, in tandem but also in good spirits.

The debut album was conceived and compiled during the lockdowns and around the movement and activities of these three working musicians in 2021, with one of the most impressive elements being that the trio had not actually met each other in person, well Nick and Neal had in their Spock’s Beard days but Ross was just a name at that time, known but, as of yet, not known by the others. This has been rectified for this release, with the three together in the video for Anywhere The Wind Blows.

Well, for those who enjoyed ‘Troika’, you will love this gentle further chapter of the trio’s story. The twelve track release is full of gentle, mostly acoustically driven music with more than a passing nod to the likes of CSN&Y, Graham Nash, Gordon Lightfoot, America or even James Taylor. This is especially noticeable on the track The Weary One, again the video will show you their great teamwork and their fabulous harmonies of voice. This really is a very relaxed, chilled vibe to listen to, however, for me the album really came alive when heard on headphones and when I had the lyrics as, although the vocals are clear, I just find it helps.

The opening song, Hard To Be Easy really grows on you, there is a lot of musical versatility on display and the bass work is great, the bottom end being very solid and consistent with the music. The songs warrant multiple plays to really engage with them fully. This album is not as straightforward as the debut was but, even so, it sees a real progression in their sound and there are multiple little touches that make this really work. It is an intelligent and somewhat compelling album of songs, all of which are well crafted and well written by the three of them. Tiny Little Fires is a case in point, this may be mostly acoustic but it powers along tremendously with a great little riff and a good synth solo that lifts the song well, it also has great Hammond Organ support. Right Where You Should Be has strong country elements, including pedal steel guitar sweeps and licks that supplement the track. It is an introspective song but tells us that we are right where we should be all along, it is possibly one of the albums strongest songs. Although to be fair, The Weary One is also a very strong contender with a good sympathetic cello part playing. There is also a very elegant fiddle that adds to the great dynamics of the song, the harmonies are also really fine on this track, making it another standout.

Mama is a more electric track and far more rock oriented than its predecessors. It is an ode to strong and firm mothers who guide their offspring into a good life, children who make them proud and don’t bring shame. This has a neat electric guitar solo from and is an interesting and rather rocky track and excellent fun. I’m Not Afraid is about doing right every day, another dose of Neal’s faith popping out I suspect with its generally positive lyrics. There’s another great guitar element and lines in this one. Weighs Me Down is another country music style song that has more of the stylish pedal steel amongst its sound and is a bit more downbeat and reflective in tone, it rolls along well though! Walking On Water has an almost Doobie Brothers swing and feel to it and the great lyrics and Spanish guitar flourishes add to this impression. There’s a great chorus too in this song, this one really impresses. You can hear the Doobies influences clearly but it’s all incredibly well done, the fiery guitar part in the middle does little to deny that view! What it is is a really great song, the albums longest and, to these ears, the best of the bunch.

Anywhere The Wind Blows is the albums final official track, and, again, there is a strong soft country-rock sound to it. This is the song that was the album’s lead single and has a rather excellent video that you can find at the end of this review. The track has a good accapella part in the middle, it’s a terrific song with sumptuous backing that really allows the trio to sing their hearts out. On the CD, that’s almost it except for the two extra songs which are slightly different takes on Right Where You Should Be and The Weary One, which are both very good but add nothing extra to their earlier incarnations, although they are possibly a little different vocally. Either way, they merely reinforce just how confident and accomplished the trio are, I believe further adventures, and possibly some live shows, could be on the horizon, it will be interesting to see what unfolds in that direction

However in the interim, sit back, enjoy and appreciate the craft that the trio offer on ‘Sophomore’. I really like it a lot, it’s different to my usual fare but fantastic to listen to when you want something different.

Released 10th November, 2023.

Order the album here:

Sophomore (

Steve Hackett reveals the first single “People of the Smoke” from his new conceptual studio album ‘The Circus And The Nightwhale – Out 16th February, 2024.

Legendary rock guitarist Steve Hackett is set to release his new studio album ‘The Circus And The Nightwhale’ on 16th February 2024, via InsideOut Music. A rite-of-passage concept album with a young character called Travla at the centre of it, ‘The Circus And The Nightwhale’s’ 13 tracks have an autobiographical angle for the musician who says about his 30th solo release: “I love this album. It says the things I’ve been wanting to say for a very long time.”

Today he is pleased to reveal the first single, and the albums opening track, ‘People of the Smoke’, you can watch the video now here:

Steve says of the track: “People of the Smoke spins us all back in time to 1950, when bustling post-war London was stifled with smog from trains, chimneys, industry and smokers. I was born into that world! This song kicks off an album following my life’s journey both literally and metaphorically…”

The new album is available to pre-order on several different formats, including a Limited CD+Blu-ray mediabook (including 5.1 Surround Sound & 24bit high resolution stereo mixes), Standard CD Jewelcase, Gatefold 180g Vinyl LP & as Digital Album. All feature the stunning cover painting by Denise Marsh. Pre-order now here:

Steve will celebrate the release of his new album with two HMV instore events in London & Birmingham, where he will be taking part in a Q&A and signing albums. Find out more details on those here:

‘The Circus And The Nightwhale’ is Steve’s first new music in over two years. Recorded between tours in 2022 and 2023 at Siren studio in the UK – with guest parts beamed in from Sweden, Austria, the US, Azerbaijan and Denmark. The line-up for ‘The Circus And The Nightwhale’ includes some familiar faces alongside Steve on electric and acoustic guitars, 12-string, mandolin, harmonica, percussion, bass and vocals. Roger King (keyboards, programming and orchestral arrangements), Rob Townsend (sax), Jonas Reingold (bass), Nad Sylvan (vocals), Craig Blundell (drums) and Amanda Lehmann on vocals. Nick D’Virgilio and Hugo Degenhardt return as guests on the drumstool, engineer extraordinaire Benedict Fenner appears on keyboards and Malik Mansurov is back with the tar. Finally, Steve’s brother John Hackett is present once more on flute.

The full tracklisting is as follows:

1. People Of The Smoke

2. These Passing Clouds

3. Taking You Down

4. Found And Lost

5. Enter The Ring

6. Get Me Out!

7. Ghost Moon and Living Love

8. Circo Inferno

9. Breakout

10. All At Sea

11. Into The Nightwhale 

12. Wherever You Are

13. White Dove

Summing up ‘The Circus And The Nightwhale’, Steve says: “It’s a lovely journey that starts dirty, scratchy and smoky and becomes heavenly and divine. How can you resist it?”

Steve recently completed his North American Tour where he continued his ‘Foxtrot At Fifty + Hackett Highlights’ run.  Next year he will tour the world extensively, including a brand new UK tour ‘Genesis Greats, Lamb Highlights & Solo’, which will see him return to the legendary Royal Albert Hall.  For the full list of dates, head to:

Review – The Round Window – Everywhere & Nowhere

“The True Beauty Of Music Is That It Connects People”

I have made many connections through music and met many people who have become lifelong friends through an appreciation of all that is good about it. One of those people is Richard Lock, the vocalist from Essex band The Round Window who reached out to me about reviewing the band’s debut release and the rest, as they say, is now history as they gear up to release their sophomore creation.

The Round Window are an Essex based 5 piece playing widescreen rock, drawing from a wide range of influences. This, their second album, ‘Everywhere & Nowhere’ was recorded with Robin Armstrong as producer from November ’22 to June ’23. The album contains eight songs that cover topics of conflict and duality, both on a personal and wider level. the album is, by turns, both hopeful and melancholy.

Richard Lock (vocals), Thomas Lock (keyboards, vocals), Jack Lock (drums, vocals), David Brazington (guitar) and Dietmar Schantin (bass) create a signature sound that was a huge characteristic of their self-titled debut release, an album which I called, “A high quality release with wonderfully emotive songs and superb musicianship.”

I had a chat with Richard and he had this to say about the new release;

“We had a lot more time with this one to work on textures and sounds and the songs were more written with the full lineup in mind. Robin (Armstrong) was involved from the start as well which really helped in building up the layers. I think you’re right with the feel as well (I’d said that it was slightly deeper than the last album, more wistful and melancholy) – it’s not a concept album by any stretch of the imagination but there’s more consistency with the themes and emotions. For me, it flows a lot better than the debut. It’s not a criticism of the first album because it was more “simply” written but this one needed that step up in sound.

So, a lot to live up to then but I knew, on the strength of their debut release, that this talented set of musicians definitely had the skill set to deliver…

‘Everywhere & Nowhere’ is another hugely impressive collection of songs from this accomplished band and opens with the ten minute mini-epic The Tides, a stirring song where guitar, keyboards, bass and drums deliver a combination of classic AOR with added dashes of prog sensibility. The glue that holds everything together are Richard’s highly distinctive vocals. His earnest delivery takes something very good and just lifts it to another level that, added to the evocative delivery of the music, makes this exciting outfit one of the best around at the moment. It’s high impact music delivered with more than a touch of flair, just take the mid section of the track where everything calms down as Thomas delivers a glorious piano refrain that just warms your heart before the evocative vocals join in, it’s genius. Everywhere & Nowhere is another excellent piece of music. The title track has a wonderful rhythm guitar playing that gives the track a real flow and the rhythm section are as superb as ever. This quasi AOR/Prog crossover sound has the basics that make a great song and a memorable chorus is one of them and this track has a cracker. One of the additional highlights is the fiery guitar solo from David which, along with the snazzy keyboards, adds real style to what is already a quality piece of music. The wistful and emotive All Roads Lead Home slows things down a bit, it’s a wonderfully affective and touching song that really hits deep. Richard’s vocal has a more melancholy edge and the music is refined and dignified. as it seems to meander along like a bubbling brook as time almost stands still. The repeated refrain of ‘All these Roads…’ has a longing and passion, as does the superb guitar solo, it’s a heartwarming song that leaves a bit of moisture in the eye…

I have to admit that I am a huge fan of the saxophone in any type of music so to hear it smoothly delivered at the start of the dynamic Resist put a huge smile on my face. This upbeat, energetic track would be chart worthy material, if we were back in the 80’s and it’s one of the highlights of the album for me and not just because of the glorious sax playing! The powerfully compelling music and charismatic vocal just show how far this band have come. Holes opens with some haunting keyboards before Richard’s restrained vocal joins in. There’s a simmering tension sitting just underneath the surface of this laid back piece of music, the guitar has a fantastic echoing effect to it and the song just oozes confidence and sophistication, AOR infused prog of the highest quality. A plaintive vocal and pared back acoustic guitar ushers in the nostalgic feeling Ghosts. This contemplative piece has a yearning and sorrow deep at its core which can be heard in Richard’s searching vocal and the dreamlike feel to the music, especially those oh so expressive keyboards. This track adds even more prog to the AOR and does remind me a bit of the great neo-prog of the 1980’s, just with added layers of class and sophistication.

The penultimate track on the album, Parabellum, opens with a keyboard sound that I can only describe as being very similar to Faithless, especially the opening to that band’s track Insomnia (bet you never thought you’d get that reference Richard?). It is by a long way the most progressive track on the album and quite possibly the most intricate and involved. Again, there a touches of 80’s neo-prog but The Round Window has taken that influence and definitively made it their own on this rather imposing and inspiring song. The music is taken up another notch (if that was even possible!), just check out the soulful guitar solo and piano, which turns into a heavenly musical duet, and you will see what I mean. A somber but oh-so moving piece of music that leaves its mark long after it has finished. All great albums should finish on a high and the band don’t disappoint here as the sumptuous Epilogue is delivered. A rather contemplative, laid back opening leads the song in with calm and grace and then there’s more of David’s soaring guitar and Thomas’ elegant keyboards before this heartfelt song takes on a more passionate tempo. It is five minutes of grace, passion and warmth that closes out on possibly David’s most fervent solo of all.

‘Everywhere & Nowhere’ takes everything that was great about the band’s debut and just lifts it several levels. It is lush, classy, insightful and so melodically impressive and is an album that The Round Window should be mightily proud of. Difficult second album? not for these highly accomplished musicians!

Released 8th December, 2023.

Order digital from bandcamp here:

Everywhere & Nowhere | The Round Window (

Order CD’s direct from the band’s website here:

Everywhere & Nowhere – The Round Window

You can also order CD’s from Gravity Dream here:

The Round Window – Everywhere & Nowhere CD Preorder – Gravity Dream Music