At 80 years old, Michael Hurley is still as vibrant and canny as ever, as evidenced by his new LP on No Quarter Records, The Time of The Foxgloves.
It’s always a cause to celebrate when Hurley returns with new music, but the songs here are some of the most moving recordings he’s turned out in decades. With a mix of new and well-varnished classics from his extensive back catalogue, Hurley approached his performance on this record with a cool meditative ease. He plays and sings with the aura of an aged master painter, calmly returning to their canvas once more to effortlessly produce another masterpiece like it’s nothing.
All of the best Hurley records have a strong individual identity to them, (and most of them do, as the majority of Hurley records are indeed great), The Time of The Foxgloves excels in that department. Every song and even every recorded sound here has a quiet warmth, even though there’s a wider array of instrumental and vocal accompaniment than what we’re used to hearing on a Hurley album (including a baritone ukulele, a bass clarinet and the unmistakably stirring voice of Josephine Foster). The entire record feels so cozy and close, like as though you’re listening to soft lullabies being played gently at your bedside.
The spacey banjo-led instrumental, “Knocko The Monk,” especially feels like it’s coasting you off into peaceful dreams of pastoral beauty.
As life continues to grow more complicated, uncertain and strange as we close out 2021, the serene and unhurried nature of laidback songs like the gentle remake of “Time Is Right” (here called “Love is the Closest Thing”) reminds us to slow down, appreciate the plants growing around your neighborhood (especially foxgloves) and the quiet stillness, before they’re all gone.
Click here to get your copy of The Time of The Foxgloves from No Quarter today on vinyl, CD or digital today.