Guy Blakeslee (The Entrance Band) delivers his first solo album in ten years. Ophelia Slowly takes a step back from the dense rock sound his LA-based neo-psychedelic trio is known for, delving instead into a sparse, spooky dreamscape where drum loops, synthesizers, and the occasional acoustic guitar frame his always haunting vocal delivery.
The sound is a re-interpretation of early American Delta blues, not only in the way Blakeslee plays his electric guitar upside down and left-handed, but also in his soulful howl. Each song on Ophelia Slowly a message of the modern day spiritual, as at home on a 1920's Mississippi street corner as it would be at Echo Park nightclub, LA.
Recording under his own name for the first time, Blakeslee seems to hint that the intention for this project is intimate and personal. His vocals take centre stage, as Blakeslee explains, "the music is there to create a mood for the voice to exist in." The result is that the very personal nature of the lyrics are unescapable to the listener. Its comparable to the music of Conor Oberst or Ryan Adams with their raw emotional honesty and impassioned, yet vulnerable delivery.
Ophelia Slowly is produced by Chris Coady (Beach House, Yeah, Yeah Yeahs). It was recorded almost entirely at Coady's studio in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, in Autumn 2012.
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.