Back in the retro-futuristic era known as The Year 2000, CMJ magazine used to come packaged with a sampler CD featuring tracks by various artists who were getting a big promotional push that month. I have no idea how they decided which bands to feature, but I’m eternally grateful that the issue I acquired featured a jazzy, folksy guitar-pop wobble called “Once Around The Block,” which instantly won my heart forever. The song was credited to an act called Badly Drawn Boy, who I soon learned was a solo artist from England named Damon Gough. A few months prior he had released his full-length debut The Hour Of Bewilderbeast, a threadbare lo-fi sprawl that would go on to win the Mercury Prize as the UK’s album of the year.
It’s one of those albums that sticks with you, great from start to finish, littered with inspired sounds from punchy pop-rock to whispery folk to shambolic indie to eerie sonic deconstructions. And to celebrate its 15th anniversary (which was actually last year, not that I’m complaining), XL Recordings is reissuing Bewilderbeast as a deluxe double-CD/triple-LP.
Among the bonus materials is “Meet On The Horizon,” originally released on the limited-press EP3. Gough had this to say about the spare, sleepy ballad:
It was really my attempt at a very fragile romantic love song.. About finding true love in the most impossible place.. The horizon.. Because it’s always moving away from you
The Hour Of Bewilderbeast deluxe reissue is out 1/22 on XL.