Manoeuvrers of A Romance is the debut album from Ismael Clark, a singer songwriter based in Portsmouth, UK. Previously based in Spain and working with his former band MEL, a move to England and pursuit of a solo project followed. The album’s release follows the release of a self-titled EP in 2013 and more recently, being announced as part of the Dumbfest line up.
The uptempo Silence Strike is the album’s opening track, immediately striking with its melodic joyous sounds and a welcome introduction to the acoustic folk sounds that follow.
The Jose Gonzalez styled intro to Inertias leads to a more contemplative sound and an unexpected chord progression that rouses from complacent listening, just as well given the poetic lyrics that deserve the extra attention.
Early Dead is a stand out on the album, while Roskolnikov offers the first and only foray into a more rock oriented sound on the album. The album’s title track arrives at the mid point, providing a charming interlude and a sense of balance to the tracks that precede and follow.
An album track list always has the potential for a couple of fillers but it’s hard to fault anything on this one. Curiously though, Once I Loved and Clausura seem to work as two parts to the one song. On its own, the yearning of Once I Loved lingers in anticipation of build and resolve, but doesn’t get there until the natural drift to Clausura.
After listening to the entire album, the reprise of Silence Strike provides almost a nostalgic feeling, seeming like it was introduced so long ago before the breadth of musicianship that follows, but after the journey it offers an uncanny but strangely fitting resolve.
This album is an acoustic folk gem. Definitely worth having a listen!
WHERE TO FIND ISMAEL: