Melting Ice Caps / Cocoanut Groove LIVE in London 26/09/08
Friday night at the
I knew Cocoanut Groove would be great (how could he, for tonight was effectively a Olov solo gig, fail to be with songs as gorgeous as the ones which are going to be on that long-delayed fantastic debut album), but I wasn't quite prepared for the brilliance of the Melting Ice Caps. The name had fleetingly caught my attention not so long ago, but I'd not given much attention to the actual music. My loss, for the short "karaoke" type gig (singer + cd player + tambourine) we witnessed tonight was full of utterly brilliant songs. David Shah (for he is the Melting Ice Caps) commanded the stage like a cross between a young Marc Almond and Jarvis Cocker and was utterly compelling to watch.
The music flitted between early Soft Cell-esque electropop and more orchestral bits recalling early Divine Comedy and fitted the witty and touching lyrics like a glove. "Hard to get" with it's lovelorn overtones (about seeing the one you used to love and have broken up with in other people's faces and in unexpected places) was an early highlight, but really each and every song was a winner. Set closer "selfish bachelor", which is going to be a free download single soon apparently, could have been written especially for and about me (I'd wish!).
As for Cocoanut Groove, what can I say. You'd think Olov and his acoustic guitar would have had a bit of a fight to get over the thumping party noise which came from the downstairs pub, but really from the first note those songs managed to have me transfixed (and I'm sure I was not the only one of us happy few who were there), transporting me from an upstairs room in a Camden pub to a dream of a long lost summer, sun dappled meadows full of wild flowers, a clearing in a dark wood where wild strawberries grow...Olov looks like the young hero from one of those old Swedish youth novels and sings with the voice of an angel.
And if there is a better new songwriter out there at the moment I'll gladly eat my shoe. It was a short set, but he managed to fit in two songs which aren't even going to be on the debut album. One of them about a park in
Post by Bart, Pics by Tom
Liechtenstein : Apathy 7" (Fraction discs)
The initial parallel between Liechtenstein and C86 girl-fronted bands like The Primitives or The Shop Assistants, on the basis of their first single "Stalking Stills", has been swept away in my mind when I first heard their stunning Misfits cover of "Universal Appeal" last year.
Apparently, if you get the chance to pick them up live, they even make a cover of the wonderful Clothilde's "Saperlipopette", a top notch yéyé tune...
And this brand new second 7"single is another step towards pop perfection... A-side "Apathy" will bring you to a high emotional level, lazy, minimal and innocent like the Marine Girls. Short B-side "Security by Design" is as haunting as if Arthur Lee was putting a spell on The Feminine Complex... WOW !
Mazy Fields : Where sunshine’s sold (Firestation - 2008)
Mazy Fields leave no gap, no room, no interstice if only because they occupy the whole space with warm sounds, happy clapping and gentle tones. Their catchy nonchalance is sometimes reminiscent of Belle And Sebastian’s later baroque moods (‘If socialism’s right’).
Guest post by E.A.R
Citrus : Wispy, no Mercy EP (Trattoria Japan - 2000)
1. Blue Mercedes
2. House Coach
3. Young Fidelity
5. Your Building
Anoraak : Nightdrive with you EP (Endless Summer Recordings)
After College and Minitel Rose, this is another fresh release from the stunning Valerie Collective.
I heard about Anoraak for the first time some 6 months ago thanks to the great Discodust website that exclusively made the 2 first songs of this EP "Nightdrive with you" and the wonderful "NERD" available to the world.
Since then it's been a long wait for this debut release which is exclusively available through Rough Trade shops as a "1000 numbered copies only" pressing. Amazing result as expected, a synth pop mix between Miami Vice Theme, Junior Boys, Le Sport, Stock/Aitken/Waterman and Lo-Fi-Fnk. Hurry up !!
Carol : Breakdown 7" (Dirty Dance - 1981)
Side A : Breakdown
Side B : So Low
Troughout the eighties, Snowy Red was one of the most inspirated artist in Belgian electronic scene, master in minimal wave, related to outfits like Digital Dance or Tuxedomoon, and later initiator of the so called "New Beat" scene via the cult Antler-Subway label.
This wonderful "Breakdown" 7", sung by the mysterious Carol, was concomitant with his debut album. Side A "Breakdown" is an unforgettable classic, that later reappearred many times under different versions, side B "So Low" is a true lost masterpiece.
Ruth : Polaroid / Roman / Photo LP (Herr Rhitma Corp. 1985)
Produced by French precursor Thierry Müller aka Ilitch in 1985, this is