Inching Into Autumn with Snails

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Snailsa band from Bristol, can neatly be filed in the category where you keep your Kevin Ayers, Cate Le Bon, Belle & SebastianGorky’s Zygotic Mynci, the Kinks and Ladybug Transistor albums. You keep those records close to each other I hope. This band’s first album Safe in Silence hit the digital landscape a couple weeks ago and its bucolic psychedelia I have discovered to be a perfect autumnal soundtrack.

The songs have an easy wistful sound that bounce along with flourishes of strings and horns economically interspersed. It’s a classic sounding record packed with classic sounding pop songs that deserves some recognition and some space on your shelves.

Right now this is a digital only release, but I saw yesterday that it will be getting a limited vinyl issue soon on Feral Child  (who just put out a Peter Astor single). In the meantime, you can listen to and buy Safe In Silence from Snails’ bandcamp page.

Pale Lights Brighten the Room

paleLights

The Pale Lights debut album Before There Were Pictures was recorded by at Marlborough Farms by Ladybug Transistor’s Gary Olson. Head Pale Light Philip Sutton who has been in Comet Gain and more recently the Soft City, employs the help of Crystal Stilts bassist Andrew Adler to play guitar and solicits the talents of the Stilts Kyle Forester for some keyboard flourishes. Come to think of it, is is nearly a Cinema Red and Blue reunion minus Comet Gain’s David Feck.

Sutton who was also the Cinema Red and Blue drummer gets out from behind the drums and is front and center with his jangly guitar and friendly croon. The album picks up where their four song self-titled EP from 2012 left off. The album breezes into the room like a long forgotten friend. The elegant maudlin pop that the band excels at evokes bygone classics like Felt, Brilliant Corners, Lloyd Cole and Biff Bang Pow! Like an old friend, you feel like you already know these songs and you kind of do if you are a fan of these other bands. If you don’t it’s time to make a new friend. Say hello to the Pale Lights!

stream & buy: Pale Lights – Before There Were Pictures

Mark Monnone and the Art of Cooking Alone

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Mark Monnone, former Lucksmiths bassist, who usually wrote a handful of songs for each Lucksmiths album, and sometimes provided his services to the genre-hopping Still Flyin‘ has just released his first solo album, beating his former Lucksmith mates to the record bins. He’s going by Monnone Alone, but really he’s not alone. Actually it’s quite crowded.

Together at Last was recorded over the course of a few years, and employs the help of number of notable players including Linton of the Aislers Set, Hamish Kilgour of the Clean and Mad Scene, Kyle Forester of Crystal Stilts, Ryan McPhun of Ruby Suns and Gary Olson of Ladybug Transistor. Some of the record was recorded in Olson’s bucolic sounding  studio Marlborough Farms which I understand is not a farm in the sense of growing food, but more like a basement lab growing music.

Monnone’s first solo album stays firmly in Lucksmiths territory, good songs, some slightly silly lyrics, a few serious lyrics and a general good time.  He also finds some new inspiration and stretches out a bit to ensure that it doesn’t sound like a total retread. Echoing Days has a distinct Felt sounding guitar lead. Sunset Video Project is a trans-like song that has some obvious German influences and on mildly funky Business World Monnone he kind of sounds  like Joe Strummer. Ricochet is pretty duet with Bec Rigby of the Harpoons and he includes an obscure indiepop cover, the Bartlebees‘ When You’re Happy You Won’t Understand.

The record will most definitely ease any pain Lucksmiths fans may still be having from there not being a Lucksmiths anymore. In fact anyone lamenting that band’s demise, need lament no longer because Monnone Alone is a record that will fill that empty space left by by the dissolution of his former band.

stream: Monnone Alone – The Westerly Whip (from Together At Last out on Lost and Lonesome)

You can read Mark’s track by track run down of his record over on Mess and Noise, and be sure to watch Mark as a rowboat captain in the video for the song the Business World.

Cinema Red and Blue

This kind of came out of nowhere, though there was a gig at the Cake Shop in New York last year that Bill mentionedCinema Red and Blue are mostly made up members from Comet Gain (David Fek sings all the songs) and Crystal Stilts.  The makeshift band also employs the services of Amy Linton, Hamish Kilgour and Gary Olson.  When you daydream about all star lineups, no doubt a few of these names enter into your imagination.  Throw in some covers by the likes of the Chills, Julian Cope and Vic Godard and you won’t want to wake up.

There’s an album due on 28 September on What’s Your Rupture.  In the meantime here is the cover of Vic Godard’s Same Mistakes that appeared on his album The End Of The Surrey People back in 1993 which was produced by one Edwyn Collins. I digress, Cinema Red and Blue was recorded at Olson’s Marlborough Farms studio.

mp3: Cinema Red and Blue – Same Mistakes (order the album from What’s Your Rupture)

mp3 snagged from Austin Town Hall.