Thursday 26 June 2014

If I Can't Have You

Remember when Rhino followed their boxset version of the "Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965–1968" compilation with "Children of Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the Second Psychedelic Era, 1976–1995"?  Should they ever do likewise with their comprehensive overview of the girl group era, "One Kiss Can Lead To Another: Girl Group Sounds Lost And Found", they would be duty-bound to include The Yearning's sweet dream-inducing "If I Can't Have You":

In a fair world it will be clutched lovingly to the hearts of the legion of vintage clothes-wearing Camera Obscura obsessives.  Tests have shown that it sounds best at twilight and in the movies, heartbroken teenage girls would play it to their friends on portable record players. It's a shame, therefore, that (thus far?) it's only available as a digital download.  Thanks to this and the singles by Parcel Post and The Luxembourg Signal, I've well and truly fallen back in love with indiepop; for much of 2014 we were on a break.  

Wednesday 25 June 2014

Parcel Post "Centimetres"

Lisle Mitnik plays guitar just the way Not Unloved would have it.  When Very Truly Yours appeared at The Captain's Rest in Glasgow a couple of summers ago I was in constant awe of his flawless playing.  He has such an intuitive way with a jangle!  The A-side of the debut 7" by Parcel Post, his new collaboration with Scott Stevens of the always adorable Summer Cats, was recently uploaded to Soundcloud and it's as hummable (that melody!) a slice of post-Sarah Records pop as you could ever hope to hear; Kingfisher Bluez and Cloudberry must have turned cartwheels when they first heard it.  The lead vocal is dreamy while Kristine Capua (also of Very Truly Yours) provides some winningly sweet backing echoes.  With such glistening guitar-work and so much glockenspiel "Centimetres" radiates.  I hope the vinyl comes in the classic wraparound sleeve/poly bag combo. Singles are just that bit more alluring that way, aren't they?

Friday 20 June 2014

Distant Drive / Looking For Real Love / Footwork

There are some immense singles around just now.  Here are 3:

> The Luxembourg Signal "Distant Drive" (Shelflife)

A solid contender for Single of the Year So Far.  It's been out for a couple of months but I just broke my 'no vinyl from the US due to prohibitive postal rates' rule to get it so it's current for me.  Beth Arzy from Sarah Records group Aberdeen is a member; I loved them, too.  That guitar line is a dream and a half and the vocals, well, they're Belgian chocolate sprinkles.

> Hollie Cook "Looking For Real Love" (Mr Bongo)

Now that the good weather feels comfortable enough to hang around for a bit in Scotland, Hollie's lover's rock makes even more sense.  Why this isn't blasting out from radios and car stereos and mobile phones up and down the land is a mystery.  Hollie's under-played singing style serves her well making her voice as welcome as a Magnum on a hot day.  Go on...treat yourself to one of the 100 copies on pretty green vinyl!

> Theo Parrish "Footwork" (Sound Sculpture)

Addictive. Not overly banging or attention-seeking, just addictive.

Monday 16 June 2014

I Wish You The World of Happiness

If Beatin' Rhythm in Manchester wasn't quite the palace of delights it had been the last time I visited it 4 years ago, I still came away an essential reissue 45 (on the shop's own label) of a Northern Soul diamond:

Eddie Holman and James Solomon's lyrics recount a moving tale of stoicism in the face of rejection:

The world's just not the same
At least not to me
'cause I won't see you again
You're setting me free
But I wish you the world of happiness
Though you're hurting me

Musically, it's archetypal mid-60s dancefloor-targeted soul.  It could prove a pricey acquisition as, if I keep playing it so much, I'll need to buy a rug to cover the living room carpet's threadbare patch.

Sunday 15 June 2014

Stroll On!

Of late it seems as if the world has gone a bit psych daft what with Loop touring again, festivals such Austin Psych Fest and Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia flourishing and a procession of new and old cosmic groups releasing records to great acclaim: Temples, Night Beats, The Brian Jonestown Massacre etc.. All of which would suggest that Stroll On Records' recent 4-way split 7" landed at just the right time.  It boasts a couple of lovely tracks by established acts from the janglier end of the pop-psych spectrum in The See See's "The Evil Clutch of Dawn" and The Young Sinclairs' "In This Room" to reel in the Shindig readers.  These are paired with blinding tracks by newer groups Triptides and Frankie and The Witch Fingers.  "Shaman" by Triptides has the most arresting intro in many a light year and the shady feel and messed-with vocals of The Byrds"Natural Harmony" while Frankie and The Witch Fingers"Revival" is a wired blast of keyboard-enhanced psych that quickens the pulse and never lets up.  There's no point playing a record like this quietly - sorry neighbours!

I got mine from Vinyl Revival on a recent visit to Manchester.  The shop's well worth a visit and the chaps talk an enthusiastic and informed game on psych, Freakbeat, garage etc..