CD, Faraway Press, 2007
2007 was a good year to be an Andrew Chalk fan. Especially if you’re new to his solo material or missed out on several of the limited edition CD-R’s that have been released over the year. Besides his “Ghosts on Water” collaboration, “Time of Hayfield” is the only other release by Mr. Chalk this year to consist of previously unreleased material. According to the Faraway Press website it dates from 2005, around the same time as “Goldfall.”
The biggest departure from Chalk’s previous solo material on “Time of Hayfield” is the fact that instead of the album just consisting of a few long songs (usually untitled, or several parts of what feels like one long piece), we have individually titled tracks, the longest being in the 14-minute range and the shortest not breaking the five-minute mark. Also, each track has a feel of being its own “song.”
The fact that this album was recorded around the same time as “Goldfall” definitely shows through in a few parts, especially on the last track, “Seven Suns.” This is not a bad thing at all, merely the coincidence that my ears hear some of the similar shimmering tones present on that release as well. It would be hard for me to break down each individual track too much, but each song floats along droney tones that have an almost “smooth glass” feeling to me, as well as a feeling of utter pleasantness. This disc has been the perfect soundtrack for my recent afternoons of drinking a glass of hot tea and watching the snow blanket around my house. “The Prophet,” “Obscure In The Valley” and “Seven Suns” stand out as personal favorites on the release, though it is definitely best experienced as a whole piece.
— Charlie Martineau