Some really good artists never quite ‘break out’, though after some years they can still end up with a chunky ‘best of’ that suggests acclaim probably should have been theirs. Case in point, solo Londoner jh.
Vocally he captures a tender, Steven Wilson-meets-The Flower Kings quality (Next Time), and this tone makes for elegant, progressive balladry: London Road’s strings swell amid acoustic strumming, before freaking out in a cacophony of discordant jabs. Conversely, Eureka Machines and Ginger Wildheart come to mind in the fuzzy pop-rock and self-aware, quintessentially English lyrics of I Wanna Spend My Summer With A Rich Girl, and prettily articulated cynicism of Wartime Spirit. It’s all rather suggestive of Wildheart caught in a contemplative dream with Hogarth-era Marillion, or Porcupine Tree in their more acoustically rooted, ‘pop’ moments. Choosing to release this anthology after just three albums suggests jh might either be deciding to call it a day or (we hope) marking 2015 as a rejuvenating turn in the road. Either way, Morning Sun is quite lovely – prog-pop and kitchen sink poetry at their most captivating.