Friday, 2 March 2012

The 2kDozen 500: #84 - Talk Less, Say More, "England Without Rain"

Interesting title. I wonder what the theme is? Bedroom pop is the medium. Although I might refer myself back to the ideas about pop I had earlier in the week. Pop as instinct and rock as studied action. So maybes this is bedroom rock.

The title track is about frustration - and it's frustrating that the line "In an England without rain" is followed by a mumble. My hopes to get the bottom of the album easily are halted at the beginning. But the other lyrics suggest it's about whether people are listening. In fact, this seems to be the dominant theme of the album - performance and audience. "The Something Sonata" is literally about the experience of "nerves crackling" in front of a bar audience. The opening track is about

There's also a traditional Japanese touch to the arrangement of some of the tracks - especially in the intros to "Glockenspiel" and "Love is a Vortex" and the opening track, "I Feel Like Making A Record". The former and final are both about staying in and making music, "like a diamond of the pressure it's under". (Bam!) The liberation of song arrangement by technology has opened up the music industry to an even greater range of agoraphobics than ever before - with a net increase in mundane paranoia and domestic themes, which I'd welcome myself. It brings them closer to the authorial lifestyle of screenwriters, novelists and the like. "Only the shallow know themselves", he says, quoting Oscar Wilde. He's one of those songwriters; the Oscar Wilde-quoting ones.

"The Wrong Door" drifts even closer to the Hot Chip model that this lounge music has running through its DNA. Perhaps because it is about a bit of a romantic encounter late at night which is shot through with disappointment and sturdy metaphor - a very Hot Chip scenario. "Black Eyes" also moves around the ladies but sounds more like The Chap. Still picture everything happening in a house though.

By the way, for the record, his voice also reminds me of Poole popsters Betika and Anglo-Welsh lo-fi MC Akira The Don; that low-key,conversational baritone. This guy is from Leeds, and we don't generally enough from Leeds these days.

They do find time to wail occasionally, if in a rather minimalist way - for example, "I Didn't Realise" ends with an incendiary guitar solo of happily few notes. "Do our immune systems align?/Sometimes we twist apart/Sometimes we intertwine" - it's that Metaphysical poetry business again on the floor-filling "Double Helixxx" outro. I like it, the poetry of the bedroom philosopher.

The stream for the album is here:

Rating: He Shouldn't Get out of The House More

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