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JH: Morning Sun

Beautiful anthology from unsung London prog/pop/rock troubadour.

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.

Polly is Features Editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage) and writes a few things. She also writes for Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer, and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.