An internet image search of the Welsh countryside looks exactly like you might have pictured it. The grassy knolls, grass-topped rooftops, horses and lambs on the green pasture, the winding roads; beauty that manages to dodge the cliché by a hundred miles. When it comes to the instrumentals of Jeb Loy Nichols' album "Jeb Loy", recorded far away from his Wales home in a Finnish basement studio, modern pastoral soul might as well be the appropriate term.
Void of Jeb's raspy vocals, but still featuring his acoustic guitar, an air of serenity emerges from the tracks. The crow has flown away into the grey clouds leaving the misty airwaves for the drums and bass, guitars, organ and horns, the familiar tools of Cold Diamond & Mink. And these fellows know how to build an ambience, just have a listen to the instrumental version of "Living It Up".
"Jeb Loy" might be the independent soul album of the year. But as all of the single releases from it are vocal tracks, this release is your only chance to cop these instrumentals. You'll find that they have stories of their own to tell. Some pretty, others joyful and all inspiring.