Wednesday 3 June 2015

Big Quiet 7"

Big Quiet explode out of the traps with their debut 7", the Mitch Easter-produced "Maura & Dana" (Unblinking Ear).  The title track which previously graced the group's cassette, zips along at pace, casually tossing out radiant melodies and guitar lines that make yr heart beat faster and have you yearning for the days when Velocity Girl were at their peak.  It's a shame that Parasol Mailorder is no more.  They would've sold a bunch of these.  With their descriptive adroitness, I would have ordered a copy in a heartbeat.  When I finally get my hands on a physical copy, I'm going to relish turning the volume knob on my amp to dangerous and blasting the flip, "Style & Pace".  After a restrained intro, guitars, bass, drums and cymbals hurtle unstoppably as Marisa Cerio belts out a terrific vocal that should have admirers of Sleater-Kinney itching to hear more.  If this single and Ex Hex's "Rips" are any guide, it would appear that Mitch Easter is on the form of his life.

Tuesday 2 June 2015

Sweet Pearl / Saun & Starr

Sometimes the word 'love' just ain't strong enough. In the case of Memphis act Sweet Pearl's 1981 soft funk miracle "You Mean Everything To Me", not even 'adore' nor any other word you care to suggest that's even stronger than that can express my feelings towards it:

"So, tonight let me hold you once again
Whisper sweet encouraging words
That would make me feel that you're my only man"

So gentle, so romantic and what an admirably restrained production. It's got a real recorded-late-at-night sound, too; the musicians delivering relaxed performances wholly devoid of the urgency of daytime. Unfortunately, as is so often the case with music of this ilk, the ritual checks of collectorsfrenzy and popsike revealed original Leopard Head label copies to be pricier than my wee wallet can handle.   Thus far I haven't spotted any legitimate or even dubious grey area reissues or, for that matter, CD compilations that would tide me over until the miracle 50p charity shop find that's destined to happen at some point (dream on, Not Unloved!).  Let's hope BGP or the venerable Kent label sees fit to restore it to print on 45 in the near future. 

Q: How did Not Unloved first encounter "You Mean Everything To Me"?

On a similar tip (do people still say that - probably not, I'll wager), Saun & Starr's "Look Closer" single from a bit back now crops up as the lead track on their debut lp for Daptone.  It still sounds stunning:

Easy brilliance, huh?  It's scarcely imaginable that two voices could be more complementary.  When the sun finally sticks around long enough to justify a trip to the beach, I'll jauntily paddle in the Firth of Clyde with it on my headphones and it'll be the best.