Spain - Sargent Place

Beloved for their whispered, dreamy evocations, Josh Haden’s Spain seemed to vanish from the face of the Earth for a decade, until returning two years ago with The Soul Of Spain, a collection of older songs Haden hadn’t previously recorded. Sargent Place, named after the location of producer Gus Seyffert’s studio, features predominantly new material written with Seyffert and Haden’s band. It is also significant as containing the last recorded performance from Haden’s father, renowned jazz bassist Charlie Haden.

 

‘You And I’, the song graced by Charlie’s acoustic bass, poignantly opens with the lines “Our love will never die” – a fitting farewell from father to son. ‘To Be A Man’ also reads like a son to father conversation, Josh sighing, “Can’t you see that you’re my best friend?”

 

While much of the album explores that slow, shimmering soundscape on which the band was founded, Seyffert’s production is bright and perhaps a little more conventional than that of Spain’s best-loved work. Organs, electric guitars and full drumkits fill out songs like ‘It Could Be Heaven’ and ‘From The Dust’, and ‘Sunday Morning’ has to be the most upbeat number the band has ever put its name to.

Martin Jones