'Very few albums utterly confound your expectations…. but, hell, this one does. Why would anyone want to listen to an album of fourteen low-key piano instrumentals? We all know that stuff like that is just boring, right? Nope. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
This music is extraordinary. Oly Ralfe, an Oxford-based composer and keyboard player, who’s been recording with his own band since 2005 has produced a blissfully beautiful collection of tunes. The simplicity, tenderness and subtly seductive power of these simple but sublime melodies blows me away. These are tunes to rescue you from depression, carry you through your worst times, teach you that karma exists, remind you of all that ever made you have faith. Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Marley, Janis Joplin, Johnny Cash, The Rolling Stones, The Clash, Led Belly, Mississippi John Hurt and a tiny handful of other inimitable artists have come up with faultless albums. For my money Oly Ralfe now effortlessly numbers among these.
Listening to Notes From Another Sea you’d be forgiven for thinking that all you could hear was a piano. In fact, there are contributions from Barney Morse-Brown’s cello, Garance Louis’s accordion and Emma Faulkner’s mandolin. Add this classic album to your collection. Play it. Chill.'
★★★★ RECORD COLLECTOR
'Close-miked and immaculately recorded, each of the album’s 14 instrumental piano pieces glow, delicately, with intimacy and immediacy. A rewarding bonus is that the mood of consoling, redemptive melancholia stays with you long after the event, magically imbuing every thought, person and object with a hitherto unremarked significance. The twirling four-note patterns of Melusine suggest windborne dandelion seeds, the fathomless pauses in The Bridge contain as much emotional substance as the notes; and in the formal prettiness of Hear Me Yourself and Night Raven, the subtlest intimation of disquiet shades the very back of the picture.'