It feels like a long time coming, but finally, Danny Harley, aka The Kite String Tangle has released his eponymous debut album. The release has been nearly three years in the making and it has most certainly been worth the wait.

Where his debut EP, Vessel, was almost purely electronically driven, Harley’s debut LP features shades of light and dark with multiple organic instruments and vocals. This is evident from the start with the suitably named opening track, Waiting, building slowly as a kind of teaser to the album before culminating, over a couple of songs, to single The Prize, an absolute banger of a track featuring oft-Rudimental singer Bridgette Amofah. Harley and Amofah belt out the earnest tagline, “You could be the only one” before a half-time breakdown that Harley will reprise throughout the album with syncopated minor melodies and atmospheric backing. It’s a theme that really works and defines the artist’s work.

It’s this atmosphere that Harley creates that make this album dance. There is a strong air of his influences on this album, from Sufjan Stevens to Bon Iver. The backdrop he establishes allows his builds to drop back to a strong musical bed and that release of endorphins that we expect will glide gloriously over you.

There are some downbeat moments here, including Mistakes To Make – a desperately sad track about relationships, and This Thing We Got with its Amy Winehouse-like horns fleshing it out to produce a great balance between organic and electric. Make no mistake, however – this a dance album, with even the slower tracks inspiring you to move.

These drops are always as big as expected and that’s a positive. Harley is great at maintaining that balance between atmosphere and banger. The album rides on back of Harley’s voice. It’s strong, clear, melodic and essentially beautiful. The collaborations, including with the smokey-voiced Montgomery on All I Need, are well selected and enhance the beauty of this album.

It’s often said that you only get one debut album and you put everything into it. The Kite String Tangle fully establishes himself in the global electronic scene with this lavishly produced debut. Sit back, put it on and get lost.

4/5

The Kite String Tangle – The Kite String Tangle

14 July, 2017 via Exist Recordings / Warner Music Australia