Solo projects are often painted as being the sole project of an ego-laden craftsmen who has a specific sonical vision in mind before setting off. Whether Johnny White suffers such inflictions has yet to be determined, but it’s hard to listen to this album and not come to the conclusion that having another voice involved would be to his detriment. ‘Poor Poor Grendel’ is a melancholic album rich with intricately complicated walls of atmospheric sound, lush shoe-gaze cast melodies and grandiose instrumentation; a recipe that brings many comparisons to both M83, Washed Out and, on the hauntingly cold ‘Honey Street’, with its long-drawn synth-generated soundbed, much of chillwave’s finest. Yet Fairewell is not a one trick pony, as ‘Others Of Us’ and ‘Born Under a Bad Sign’ mark brief flirtations with the sprightly pop of Belle and Sebastian. Not something to say farewell too.

By Nathan Westley

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