On "Beyond the End," Harcourt sticks to his primary instrument, the piano, and retains his ability to create deeply atmospheric works, but he achieves it here through instrumentals, with nary a lyric in sight.
Working on a 1910 Hopkinson baby grand — very similar to his grandmother's piano that he first learned to play on and which he used to write his first three albums — Harcourt sees the compositions as balms to the sensory overload we experience daily.
In that spirit, the album sails along on a sea of tranquility with only scattered showers of tension, usually when Gita Langley, Harcourt's wife, and her sister Amy get involved — on violin and cello, respectively — as on "Keep Us Safe" and "Beneath the Brine."
Some of the tunes have a cinematic feel, like opener "Diving Bell" or the main piano melody on "Wolves Change Rivers," while others insinuate intimacy ("There Is Still a Fire"), the inescapability of time ("Duet for Ghosts") and bygone eras ("Faded Photographs").
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a song or melody can invoke countless feelings and moods. The scope of emotions on "Beyond the End" is not comprehensive but strong impressions abound.