Fleetwood Mac – Rumours

There are certain albums that cannot be revisited or reviewed due to their status in the music world. Certain albums which have been defined as a classic and will be forever noted in history as such. I would not even begin to consider that I could review such an album, but what I can try to do is write about what one of these albums represents and means to me. The album in question was released in 1977 and I think that most households probably owned a copy of it.

To me, it represents a memory of growing up and finding out what music was about.

Growing up in a house that was interested in music meant that there was always lots of it around in various forms. We had a wonderful Sony hi-fi system (which I miss very much now as it was fabulous) that had a tape deck, equalisers and a turntable. It sat within a wooden unit which had a large space at the bottom that was filled with vinyl. It was a real mish-mash of artists from Deep Purple and Pink Floyd to The Beatles and Cliff Richard. It was very diverse as my mum was a mod and my dad was a rocker. I used to love playing my parents records from a young age and the reason the album I’m writing about means something to me is because it was the vinyl I always pinched on a regular basis to listen to a certain track in particular.

If I said to you Formula One coverage on the BBC what would spring to mind? Hopefully you’re thinking of the music that accompanies it. The instrumental part of a song that has that wonderful bassline before the guitar kicks in and takes the song up a notch until the final dramatic ending. Yes, I’m talking about “The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac which therefore means the album in question is Rumours.

I’m not even going to attempt to discuss this album in any great depth as I’m sure those of you who either own this record or have heard it (and I would think that’s probably most people) will have formed an opinion about it already which my thoughts certainly aren’t going to change. What I can do, however, is tell you what this album means to me and why it’s important in the grand scheme of things.

“The Chain” is my favourite track off of Rumours and I always liked hearing it boom out of the speakers when I was a kid. I am a child of the late ’70s and was brought up by music loving parents who managed to imprint some of their taste onto me. I don’t consider myself to have a genre and will listen to pretty much anything that is thrown at me to form an opinion on whether I like it or not. Being open to anything probably comes from hearing a variety of music growing up from swinging ’60s tunes to heavy ’70s rock via a bit of ’80s thrown in for good measure. Fleetwood Mac happened to be a band that were liked by both of my parents so I suppose it’s only natural that both my brother and I would end up liking them too.

Hearing Rumours at an early age has set me up for bigger and better things and it has definitely added to my appreciation of what good music is.

I think it was possibly the law in the late ’70s to own a copy of Rumours and everyone at the time seemed to have it. It’s an album that represents a certain period in time for the band and comes with a lot of baggage attached to it. Ask anyone what they know about this album and they will probably mention the drugs, the affairs and the fighting within the band before they get to the actual track listing. As a piece of work, it’s probably their finest in my opinion. Interestingly, Stevie Nicks has said since that the chaos that was going on at the time helped them to produce their best work, which I think is pretty evident.

4 T

When Fleetwood Mac started out in the ’60s they were a blues band. The dynamic changed when Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined at the end of 1974 and gave the band a breakthrough album the following year. The sound of the band had moved into more of a breezy American pop sound, mainly thanks to the new duo in the band. This new line up would prove to be their most successful, but with the success came a variety of personal problems as at that time the McVie’s marriage had broken up, Buckingham and Nicks ended their relationship and Mick Fleetwood was also in the middle of divorcing his wife. All this drama was mounting as the band were under pressure to release a follow up to their number 1 eponymous album “Fleetwood Mac”. Add in to this the fact that the money and success had led to an over-reliance on alcohol and drugs and you have a very explosive situation going on.

The issues that were taking place in the background shaped the way the album was made and ended up sounding. All of the tracks on “Rumours” relate to personal, usually troubled relationships such as “Go Your Own Way” which was written by Buckingham about his failing romance with Nicks. The whole album was produced to have “no filler” with every track having the potential to be a single. I think when you listen to it all the way through, they achieved this without question. The album features wonderful harmonies between the three vocalists and a combination of acoustic and electric instruments.

One of the things I love about this album is the timeless quality of it. I can listen to it now and it doesn’t appear that dated to me in any way. I guess that’s the quality of the production. That the songs still work nearly 40 years later. I have heard the track “Don’t Stop” being used as part of a management conference, “The Chain” as described above was used for the Formula One and “Dreams” was originally covered by The Corrs as part of a Fleetwood Mac tribute album, but their version ended up giving them a successful hit single. Both artists and consumers just seem to love this album.

The legacy of Rumours is apparent as this album regularly features in polls such as top albums or essentials albums that you must own. In fact, by 2009 it had sold 40 million copies worldwide. Mick Fleetwood himself described it as “the most important album we ever made” as the success has allowed them to continue as a band for the continuing years afterwards. I think that as time has marched on, the status of this album has changed from one that just happened to sell a vast amount of copies to an album that has been defined as classic due to what it contains.

I know that some people out there don’t rate the band much and would struggle to listen to anything that they have recorded perhaps due to the persona of the group. I probably can’t change your minds on that, but what I can say is that Rumours is a wonderful album, full of beautifully written and performed songs which will stay with you after you have listened to it. It’s an album I put on quite often and once it’s played all the way through, I will go back and put my favourite tracks on again. To me, it represents a memory of growing up and finding out what music was about.  Hearing it at an early age has set me up for bigger and better things and it has definitely added to my appreciation of what good music is.

If you ignore the whole background drama that comes with the album and just take it on face value as a well-produced piece of work, I think you will find that you will enjoy the craftsmanship that has gone into it. There is no doubt that it is a classic album and I don’t think anyone can disagree with that fact. If you don’t own a copy of it, I would suggest you go out and purchase it. If you are one of the 40 million plus that have it to hand, go and stick it on now, sit back and work your way through the beauty that is Rumours.

Room8 – This Place Again

Room8, the LA-based two-man troupe made up of producers Ezra Reich and Nic Johns, have followed the release of the title track from their forthcoming No Hard Feelings EP with a second track, “This Place Again”.

Featuring vocals from Russian singer-songwriter Polina, “This Place Again” hits our electropop sweet spot, coming across like the clubbed-up synthpop remixes we’re secretly in love with. We can almost see ourselves shimmying to this one.

Almost.

But even when we’re not out on the floor this is worming its way into our brain, beat by beat.

No Hard Feelings EP is out later this year…

Facebook
Twitter

Budapest

If you haven’t been to Budapest, I highly recommend it. I’ll even let you know of a few cool hipster places off the beaten track if you ask nicely. While you’re there, walk around and take in the sights and sounds (and always remember to look up if you don’t want to miss some of the delightful architectural details). And ride the number two tram (that’s the one up there gliding through the snow, alongside the Danube). Before you go, get in the mood with these six picks of varying Budapestness.

George Ezra – Budapest

Bad start in a way. Honestly, I’ve never felt so cheated. I mean, it’s not actually about Budapest at all is it? Here B-town is nothing more than a rhyming MacGuffin, somewhere to keep a treasure chest. Might as well have called it Kanye West, Taribo West or South West Trains. Or Westward Ho! But damn, if it isn’t a catchy earworm once you stop trying to fight it.

Budapest – Is This The Best It Gets

Is it? I don’t know. No place for jokes here, though, because after recording Too Blind To Hear, Budapest’s only album, guitarist Mark Walworth tragically committed suicide. By way of tribute the remaining band members carried on, releasing and touring the album, but it was to be their only release together.

Dirty Beaches – Alone At The Danube River

Alone and scared if this is what you’re listening to. I’m not trying to put you off, you understand, just suggesting that while music doesn’t have to always be upbeat and poppy, this might not be the best soundtrack to, say, a quick stint around the running track on Margitsziget.

Michael Price – Budapest

This is more like it. The sound of a city slowly stirring. Some time before leaving Budapest, while going through photographs of the city it occurred to me that I had a record of how it looked, how it had changed, places I had been and seen, but nothing captured by other senses. And by other senses, I really mean only sound. It’s hard to capture the touch of a city without stealing parts of it, and who really wants to bottle the smell of a city? Particularly that summer drain smell. Some of the tastes will inevitably lost, too, in foods not often found elsewhere.

Sound, however, can be evocative, nostalgic and easily captured with the right equipment. Equipment I didn’t possess. One day I will have to return to record familiar noises: a trolleybus arriving at its stop in a side-street near the apartment; the “doors closing” announcement on Metro line 1 and the accompanying notes almost taken from “In The Mood” to chivvy tourists; snatches of Hungarian, still frustratingly elusive.

Compact Disco – Sound of Our Hearts

Hungary’s Eurovision entry for 2012 finished one place above Engelbert Humperdinck, but deserved to do far better. And I’m not saying that just because the video tells the story of two men, one of whom lives in my apartment block: he has my furniture, from wardrobes right down to kettle. (The maid must have been an optional extra that we didn’t sign up for). I’m not even saying it just because the lead singer was a neighbour and therefore friend, albeit the kind of friend with whom your conversations never seem to get beyond ‘jó reggelt’.

No, I’m saying it because of both those things! Also because it’s actually a really great slice of uplifting electropop.

Szécsi Pál – Zenészballada

Szécsi Pál’s father died in the last months of World War II, and his mother left for America during the 1956 revolution. He became a model and was talent-spotted while singing in the bar of the Hotel Gellert. His rapid rise to fame and popularity in Hungary did not bring him happiness, and he retreated into alcoholism. After several unsuccessful attempts, he committed suicide on 30th April 1974, aged 30.

Sorry for the gloomy details, but that is often just how it is with Hungary, its heroes and its art. (You may be familiar, for instance, with Gloomy Sunday, a song performed by Billie Holiday, composed by Rezső Seress, and sometimes dubbed “The Hungarian suicide song”).

Set against this backstory, Zenészballada sits on a knife-edge, staring out in two directions: looking one way it’s easy listening that lets itself go, until it’s a riotous mess of sounds, as drums beat themselves up alongside a confusion of analog moogishness and wakka-wakka guitars and horns, topped off by a waterfall of piano notes, which I first overheard in some downtown bar and had to shazam for posterity; obversely it’s a poignant tale of loss and wondering what might have been that asks a simple question:

Where are you now, where are you old friend?

https://youtu.be/_Tli6ojXXiQ

BONUS!

Budapest is often used as a filming location. Sometimes this works out well, as in the case of a scene from Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy shot in Parisi Udvar. Sometimes it works out badly, like when the latest and most rubbish Die Hard movie closes down most of your immediate neighbourhood to film some tedious scenes of chasing and exploding.

Sometimes it’s funny and unexpected. Like this:

Zola Blood – Play Out

Zola Blood have announced “Play Out”, the follow-up to their debut EP, Meridian. The Hackney four-piece recorded Play Out between London and Leeds; working with producer Richard Formby (Wild Beasts, Ghostpoet, Darkstar) the band made full use of the vintage synthesizers at their disposal:

We wanted every sound on the tracks to be totally unique – we even put the drums through a modular synth.

There are times listening to “Play Out” that you may well find yourself of Wild Beasts but in truth this has a darker, glitchier, feel – something from far deeper underground.

Zola Blood are: Matt (vocals/guitar), Ed (Synth), Sam (drums) and Paul (guitar).

“Play Out” will be released on Pond Life Songs on September 4th. Zola Blood play Secret Garden Party this weekend.

Zola Blood Website
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter

Surprise Party – If You Fall

Fresh off a two-week tour tour of Western Canada, psych/shoegaze band Surprise Party have released a new video for their track If You Fall. Taken from their recent Circle of Death EP (released on Winnipeg MB label Transistor 66), it’s a slow-burner – a rich, hazy shoegazing soup. Suffused vocals, layers of sound, harmonies, reverb and a fierce wall of sound are order of the day.

Official Website
Facebook

Transistor 66

Feeder – Comfort in Sound

I was quite surprised when a friend of mine asked me to write a piece on a band that he likes. Actually, I was a bit chuffed to be honest, but then I had to have a think and consider which album I would write about. That was the tough bit. The band in question is one that we both share a love for and discuss every now and again. Let’s just hope I’ve made the right choice and can do the album justice. Here goes.

Feeder - Buck Rogers

In 2001 a film called “Behind Enemy Lines” was released. You might remember it. It had Owen Wilson and Gene Hackman in it and was about a naval pilot who was shot down over Bosnia and had to find a way home. Okay, but what has this got to do with music I hear you ask? Well, there was a song in the film called “Buck Rogers” which was by a band called Feeder. I’d never really heard of them before, but I quite liked the track and thought I’d look into them a bit further.

In the early days Feeder were a band that weren’t really that well known commercially, but they had something of a cult following with their fanbase.  Their first full length album was Polythene which was released in 1997 and was a grunge, alt rock affair. Their next two albums would continue with this same sound.  Despite rave reviews from critics, Polythene only charted at number 65 in the UK and would become their lowest charting album. However, the fans loved it and this led to them getting a main stage appearance at the Reading festival that same year.  It was the release of “Buck Rogers” that gave them their first top ten UK single when the album Echo Park came out in 2001 and brought them more into the mainstream.

The album is a journey for both the band and the listener

The time that I heard this single was probably some point in 2002 and as I was looking into the band, they happened to have a new album coming out. That album was called Comfort In Sound and was released in October of that year. This album showed a change in both direction and in sound for the band which was ultimately due to the tragic loss of their drummer Jon Lee who took his own life in January 2002. The album represents the pain and the grief of losing their friend and the moving on that the surviving members went through in their decision to continue as a band.

The first single to come out was “Come Back Around” which preceded the actual album release. It’s quite a catchy track, but with a hard edge to it and some loud guitar thrown in for good measure.

Three more singles followed: “Just The Way I’m Feeling”, “Forget About Tomorrow” and “Find The Colour”. The band scored their second UK top ten single with “Just The Way I’m Feeling” and the album reached number six on the UK album chart and then spent a run of 36 weeks on the weekly top 75 album chart.

This album is their most intimate to date, with the heartfelt lyrics of Grant Nicholas showing his struggle to come to terms with the loss of his friend. I read that Grant and bassist Taka Hirose had some doubts about continuing as a band, but Jon’s family urged them to keep going. They recruited drummer Mark Richardson formerly of Skunk Anansie to join them and went off to produce what would become Comfort in Sound.

Feeder - Forget About Tomorrow

The album is a journey for both the band and the listener as it jumps from track to track and from orchestral moments featuring wonderful string arrangements to the punk/pop sounding heavy guitars that the band were more known for previously. The gorgeous “Forget About Tomorrow” is possibly the main focus of the album with its epic sound and heartbreaking lyrics. Elsewhere we have the massively distorted “Godzilla” which is heavy going with vocals which almost sound like screaming at times. The album closes with the track “Moonshine” which I think is a fitting end for this record as it feels to me like a slow breath out after everything that has gone before.

This album possibly could have become something of a tawdry effort of sentimentality, but the refined and intelligent lyrics of Grant Nicholas ensure that this doesn’t happen. I think those listeners who take the album as it comes will appreciate the sincere meaning that this record represents and see that after everything that was endured, they have come out the other side stronger. The follow up album Pushing The Senses is a continuation of that strength and showed that the band would become a name to be recognised in amongst the big players.

I would recommend checking out Comfort In Sound and that you undertake the journey yourselves to get an understanding of what Feeder are about and what they have to offer. There’s definitely a lot to like on this and their other albums too.

Feeder 1

Listen to Beast – the new and final Pearl and the Beard album

Earlier this summer, Pearl and the Beard announced that their time together as a band would come to an end after eight years, with the release of their final album, Beast, and a farewell show at Bowery Ballroom.

Beast is out today, and you can listen to its splendour and gorgeousness right here. Pearl and the Beard’s farewell show will take place on November 19th.

Official
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter

Foals – Mountain At My Gates

Having already forced the musical universe asunder with “What Went Down”, the title track from their forthcoming fourth album, Foals have released a second taster of one of this year’s mostly hotly tipped and highly anticipated albums.

Paring a shuffling indie disco beat with Yannis Philippakis’ edge-of-a-howl vocal, “Mountain At My Gates” kicks off with a deceptively baggy feel before launching into the kind of huge, cavern-shaking rock that Foals are making very much their home ground. Not in the same visceral league as What Went Down, it is nonetheless a beautiful, fiery combination of the two sides of Foals: the melody and the fury.

What Went Down is out on August 28th, via Warner Music. Pre-order the album HERE.

Facebook
Instagram
Twitter

The Bluetones Anniversary Jukebox

As you probably know from previous articles I’ve written, The Bluetones are celebrating their 20 year anniversary this year by touring the UK in September.  As a small tribute to one of my all-time favourite bands (and the one I no doubt ramble on about the most), I decided to run a poll on Twitter and Facebook to find the fans favourite tracks so I could make an ultimate playlist.

As part of this piece, I also asked people to tell me why they had chosen the particular track in question so I could share their reasons and also gain a bit of insight into what makes other ‘Tones fans happy.  Interestingly, at the same time as I was running this poll, the band themselves were asking fans to tell them what songs they wanted to see on the setlists for the gigs later in the year using the hashtag #tonesat20.  Ever the optimist, I decided to do a bit of snooping and see if the songs choices for the setlists were similar to those being picked as favourite songs.  I mean, surely they would be, right?

Bluetones 2Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong.  It became apparent as I was making a spreadsheet of the song choices (yes, a spreadsheet!), that The Bluetones are clearly a band who don’t have a bad track in their back catalogue.  The choices for the setlists mention pretty much EVERY single song they have recorded.  So much for making my life easier…

But before we get to that, back to the stories of the song choices.  Here are a few of the comments that people gave me about why they had chosen their favourite song.

Ash Brown (@Our_Man_Flint) chose the track “Keep The Home Fires Burning”. And his reason was this: “Just because it’s a great tune that also plunges into the heart”.

Skills McGill (@skillsmcgill) gave me the wonderfully lengthy and totally valid reason as to why “Keep The Home Fires Burning” was his selection.  This is what he said:

My vote is not necessarily my fave song (it could be many), but when this one came out I was working on a project with young people 16-21 leaving care and moving into their own flats.  They’d come from every kind of broken down family unit you can imagine.  It was a real eye opener for me.  Home Fires struck a chord then and it still does now.  It reminds me of those young people and what they’d lived through and the satisfaction of being able to help

Ed Pickett said it was “Slight Return” for him. And here’s why: 

My mate had a limited edition 7 inch and said “check this band out”. I think the b-side was “The Fountainhead”. Loved it and got on board. They released the track later and I finally bought it on CD single.

https://youtu.be/zOL3HuP13ng

Mark Whitworth (@bringitonskippy) picked “Colorado Beetle” because he just loves it – there is no specific reason!

All I can say is The Bluetones make me cry quite often, but thankfully it’s for all the right reasons

I wanted to include a reason for myself too, but when I sat down to think about it, I actually struggled to choose a favourite song.  Just like everyone else did it would seem.  I have a few that I love dearly, including “Putting Out Fires” which I have always considered to be my number one track.  Recently though, I’ve changed my mind and decided that actually, it’s “Sky Will Fall” from the Return To The Last Chance Saloon album.

Every time I listen to this song it leaves me a bit choked up because it’s just so beautifully written and performed. I was recently reading an old interview that Mark gave where he said that he stays away from writing traditional romantic tracks as he doesn’t think he has much skill at writing straight down the line love songs.  Not too sure about that to be honest as I think his writing is extremely provoking, but this might well be the reason why this song resonates so much with me. The lyrics are not so much of the usual lovey dovey style, but they actually hit a chord with me more than perhaps the run of the mill mushy stuff. Maybe it’s the reality of them or the fact that I can relate to them on a personal level much more than other songs, I really don’t know.  All I can say is The Bluetones make me cry quite often, but thankfully it’s for all the right reasons.

So, what’s in our playlist then? Below you will find the twenty five songs* that were picked the most by the fans for either our poll or for the gig setlists. I have to say, the results were not as I would have predicted, but that’s the beauty of these things. You never know what is going to appeal to some folks more than others. Have a listen and see what you think. Many thanks to those of you who voted and to Ash, Mark, Skills and Ed for their comments. I do hope you can make it to one of the gigs in September and hopefully hear your choices played live. I’m looking forward to it already.

* Two tracks are not available on Spotify, so only twenty three tracks in that playlist, but all twenty five are in the video playlist.

16 September – Leeds O2 Academy
17 September – Glasgow O2 ABC
18 September – Newcastle O2 Academy
19 September – Manchester Ritz
23 September – Portsmouth Pyramids
24 September – London The Forum
26 September – Birmingham O2 Academy
27 September – Bristol O2 Academy

Del Amitri – Twisted

When I originally considered what the “rediscover” series should be about, it was around writing about an album which I thought was great, but might have passed people by at the time. There are so many to choose from (which might indicate that my taste is somewhat different to everyone else) and I’ve tried to think about artists I love and want to share with you all. While I was pondering who to write about next, I noticed a friend on Twitter mentioning a band that I liked and decided that they could be my next subject. But which album should I go for? It was a tough choice, but after some contemplating I picked the one that I thought needed a bit of love and attention.

1995 saw the release of the fourth studio album by Scottish rockers Del Amitri entitled Twisted. Prior to this album the band had enjoyed some success with singles such as “Kiss This Thing Goodbye” and “Always The Last To Know”. They were known I guess for their melodic folk sound with lyrics which focused on mainly love and loss. The reason I have chosen this album to write about rather than one of the previous releases is that Twisted came with a change in sound, caused a change of line up and also features their biggest chart success to date with a throwaway song that lasts just two minutes, and which gave them a massive hit in America.

Del Amitri - Be My Downfall

I first heard of the band when a mate at school played me some tracks from the Change Everything album. The whole premise of gentle, acoustic songs of longing must have appealed to my teenage sensibilities and I decided that I liked them and wanted to know more.  I went off and purchased the self-titled debut, Change Everything and Waking Hours and spent some time catching up on what I had been missing over the past few years. I loved Justin Currie’s voice and being of the inclination that acoustic music was a thing of total beauty it sat very well with my current listening at that time. I was therefore very excited when I knew that a new album was due to be released.

That album turned out to be Twisted. As I was no longer playing catch-up, I enjoyed discovering the new tracks at the same time as everyone else. This album showed a new direction for the band as there was more emphasis on electric guitars than on the previous albums. The first single to be released was “Here And Now”, which peaked at 21 on the UK charts.  With great lyrics, it also has a more upbeat feel to it with a nice build up to the guitar break towards the end of the track.

Three further singles were released from the album: “Tell Her This” was a rather lovely little acoustic number which reminds me slightly of the earlier and very beautiful “Be My Downfall”; “Driving With The Brakes On” was one of the album tracks that harked back to their previous stylings, and was the highest charting single from this album in the UK, hitting number 18; “Roll To Me” gave the band their most commercially successful single in America. This is the one that people seem to remember as it peaked at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The video was also mildly amusing (or possibly a bit creepy!), featuring the band as babies being pushed around in prams in the sunshine.  At just over two minutes long, this was a pure and simple pop song, nothing more. I don’t think this track was ever meant to be their biggest song, and I’m sure the band are not necessarily pleased that it is, but it goes to show that a straightforward formula of jolly, repetitive lyrics can drill down into the listeners psyche and stay there. I mean, I still know all the words now and can sing the whole song at the drop of a hat.

This album also marked the end of the band’s current line up with guitarist David Cummings leaving at the end of their American tour in 1995 as he felt the touring would put a strain on her home life.  He would go on to be a successful screenwriter working with Paul Whitehouse on various projects.

Twisted came with a more electric sound to it which is why this album marked something of a change in their path.  Probably it was just a natural progression for them, but reading some old reviews of the album, it seems that some people felt they should have stuck to the acoustic folk feel that they had on their previous efforts.  I don’t have a problem with artists trying to move onwards and bearing in mind this album gave them one of, if not their most recognisable song, is it really a bad thing to try to mix it up?  I think it was just a band trying to find their own sound and there’s nothing wrong with that at all.

One thing that never really changes about the band is the overall feel attached to their music and their lyrics.  The themes of love, loss, frustration, longing etc are evident throughout their work and very much continue on this album, especially on tracks like “It Might As Well Be You” and “It’s Never Too Late To Be Alone”. I played this album pretty much on repeat when I first bought it and still have many of the tracks on my playlists now. I do think though, that it possibly didn’t get the attention that it deserved at the time and that it was never looked at for being much more than that single which is a great shame.  As a piece of work that represented various changes to the band, it should’ve got better recognition for at the very least the beautiful song-writing that it contains.

Del Amitri - Driving With The Brakes On

Del Amitri went on to release two further albums and were responsible for the 1998 Scottish World Cup song “Don’t Come Home Too Soon”. A best-of album was also released that year entitled Hatful of Rain: The Best Of Del Amitri, which reached number 5 in the UK album chart. It included one new song – the very gorgeous “Cry To Be Found”. Justin Currie has since gone on to have a successful solo career, releasing three albums to date. Although the band never officially split up, they announced a UK reunion tour in 2014, which was well received.

So, why should you listen to this album? To be fair, you could actually listen to any of their albums as they are all pretty damn good. I chose Twisted because it was the first album of theirs that I purchased and experienced at its actual time of release. It very much represents a period in my life when I was discovering music and finding out what I liked to listen to and it remains an album that I revisit with genuine love. If you take it for what it is, a wonderful mix of brooding lyrics and great musicianship, then I think you should be able to find something within it that you will enjoy.  It may well be that track, but so what. At least you’re listening and sometimes that’s all that really matters.

Scam Avenue – Mercury

“Mercury” is the title track from the debut EP by dark electropop trio Scam Avenue. Fast cuts, silhouetted figures, negatives, and doubly exposed figures mix with Super Hexagon meets child’s Kaleidoscope visuals in the song’s mostly black and white video. The dark and intriguing track, meanwhile, has vocal echoes of Sarah Cracknell (St Etienne), and a quietly developing menace that flowers into a brief moment of guitar and drum activity before settling back into a descending single-note pattern in its final phase.

Scam Avenue are Devery Doleman (lead vocal), Tara Chacón (backing vocal, synths) and Lawrence Kim (guitar). Nate Smith joins them on drums for “Mercury”.

On the EP’s creation, song-writer Kim says:

I wasn’t consciously going for a certain type of sound with these songs, but I think there is a certain moodiness that comes from New Order or Section 25 or Factory Records in general. I was also listening to a lot of Brian Eno at the time and I think there’s a sense of space in these recordings that may have been influenced by that as well.

Mercury was released on June 23rd, and is available from Scam Avenue’s Bandcamp page – follow the links from the media section, below.

Official
Facebook
Twitter