Close Your Eyes and Think of Nothing is the first album by alternative folk band Pavey Ark, and as far as debuts go, it certainly proves that the Hull band have the potential to go far. Every song showcases both skilful guitar riffs and the soft, lilting voice of lead singer Neil Thomas. The strings that shoot through every song give it its distinctive folk edge. The style is slightly reminiscent of Stereophonics, with faint echoes of Kings of Leon.
The album is perfectly balanced. It’s soothing, easy listening without ever being passive or boring. Songs have just a touch of melancholy that never borders on depressing, because on the whole, the tone of the album is uplifting. Songs like Leaf By Leaf express lyrics full of hope, accompanied by a soaring crescendo of sound. Breaking Out creates a wishful sense of longing for an escape from the rat race of everyday life. The album itself provides a sort of escapism. The title track, Close Your Eyes and Think of Nothing, encourages the listener to do just that, with a melody that lulls you into a dreamy sense of peace.
That’s not to say that the album lacks life. Songs like Cuckoo and Jenny Let Go have more of an upbeat feel, with a steady rhythm from the drums urging them along.
The songs are difficult not to like, and it is easy to see them becoming crowd pleasers. Being a first album, it wouldn’t be unusual for it to be a little rough around the edges, but Pavey Ark have hit their stride extraordinarily quickly. They have a distinct style, that the album rarely deviates from. The band has clearly found their sound, and it suits them perfectly.