It’s been five years since Huw Lloyd-Jones left Also Eden.
Despite announcing his Unto Us project shortly afterwards, there’ve only been a few intermittent social media posts updating us on progress. That gap does add a certain amount of pressure – if after such a gestation period the album was a shocker then the future would surely be bleak. Happily, the time taken here in carefully pruning and layering these tracks has proved fruitful, and The Human Landscape is a fine and frequently enchanting debut. Musically ambitious, the songs collected here manage to remain punchy in spite of approaching the 10-minute mark, and there are only sporadic segments that could be dismissed as filler. Opener Towers Of Babel is their finest, containing elegant seams of entwined keyboards and guitars, calling to mind Marillion and, strikingly, Twelfth Night. The latter comparison is particularly prominent in the vocals, which frequently are as pained as Geoff Mann’s. The notable improvement in Lloyd-Jones’ voice – noticeably on Plan B and In A Lifetime – and the sheer opulence of the musical backdrop gives this album an edge. Surprisingly gripping, and well worth the wait.