GEOFF SMITH plays his music in a big room surrounded by white goods. He keeps his head down and his vocals follow. He is so close to his piano it seems as though he has entered into a personal discourse with it. The white goods don't talk much, so Geoff has to improvise. The drinkers in the downstairs pub don't want to know either. They should. Geoff has created an album of such intense beauty that "soundtrack-y" is almost an insult. Even those neurotic hyperbints on Sex And The City liked it so much they played "French Movie" on the penultimate episode. "All this just sums up where I've been. It's a sense of resolve, of closure. Listening to Nick Cave and Tom Waits impinges that sense upon you". Let it do the same for you. Dramatic, emotive and, quite frankly, darkly genius.
The Fly, Levi's Ones To Watch, Sept '04
What with the name of the album, 23-year-old Geoff Smith's pseudonym and the hypnotic bleakness of the first track, it initially seems that this might be the perfect album for a night in with photos of the ex-girlfriend and a noose. Then a kind of hope starts to shine nervously through and before you know it Smith is off, drawing on his classical training, his love of electronica and his Tom Waits/Nick Cave influences to build fuzzed-up moodscapes and poetic pop vignettes that balance a melancholic core with breathy, human vocals and a very personal narrative. It winds up being not too sad at all, but generously constructed, very original and in places quite exceptional.
DJ Magazine, Sept '04
Loner have captured melancholy beauty, wrapped it in silk, put it on a pedestal and then written a guitar based homage to the wench. Felt Your Love is ethereal excellence, although it sounds like bad 80s when I tell you that the chorus is "a ha, na na nana na na na", just trust me on this. Loner could be the voices in your opiate soaked dreams, there and not there, musical echoes. All that's left is the haunting piano or shimmering guitars and the sense you've heard something to make you shiver, smile and pull the duvet closer round you.
Blowback Magazine, Sept '04
Geoff Smith, aka Loner, knows all about standing still, about listening and putting the brakes on. His musical cues come from a sense of life moving on around him. He stands still in the middle watching. His observations wear clothes dressed for the darker side of life. But that doesn't mean that they are ugly. The music itself is far from it. It is stunningly beautiful and clever. With its organic base from the piano and acoustic guitar, there are electronics that match the most ethereal of the Aphex Twin's ambient moments. With plays from XFM and Classic FM this appeals to all with a soul and ears for tales of woe.