A: (cult of) The Cemetery Flowers (mandolins version)
B: Walking Pneumonia
I subscribed to this 7" series a little while back from Geographic North and dug the first three out the other day to give them a spin...you know there's that pile or section on the shelf that's for new stuff, and I have been waiting to review these kind of as a body of work. To see if I could figure out where Geographic North is going...where they might be headed.
All the sleeves for these singles, this one included are really minimal graphics...solid sky blue with gradients of blue running through at the top in a bezier curve. The flip side is completely black with the track listings and speed. The vinyl itself is a nice heavy opaque sky blue, just slightly marbled.
Now I remember how I heard about Sunny Day in Glasgow...they released a double album on Ruined Potential that looked pretty amazing...I think before I even actually heard these guys I was drooling over this vinyl package....that's ridiculous I know...but they got my number...it's all handmade, letter press, linen...limited to around 300. Same with this single...it might be sold out...it looks like you can still click the buy button on their site..so you might get lucky.
The A-Side (North side)
There are at least 3 ladies adding vocals in Sunny Day (who aren't from Glasgow, as I mistakenly believed at first), not sure how many are singing at once, how many layers are going on at any given time. It's reminding me of Lush, or Magnetic Fields...more specifically Future Bible Heroes with Claudia Gonson... angelic swirling harmonies with herself. It also has that quirky synth melody that's so hard to get away with. It's really deep in the mix here, you almost can't pick out any actual words.
The little high pitch almost electronic sounding 'oooo oooo' is a perfect example of something that might not work on paper, but it seems like they are trying to fully explore this sound and force it into something new, play with the conventions. The sounds gets a little heavier, full of muffled handclaps, layers of synth, it's a little twee, but hazy, my bloody twee. I can kind of see this as another tangent in a completely different direction to where the Vivian Girls ended up. Start from the same inspiration, but get rid of the guitars and 4/4 rock...
I'm still trying to work out if I have some new problem with my speakers or they are panning the low end back and forth, it's wobbly and I'm still not sure I'm hearing it right. I've reconnected the wires a few times now and it's got to be the song. Either that or I give up.
That's the beauty of this, the nuances in the sound, the subtle layers and layers that stick together in this sound that's bigger than it's parts.
The B-Side (South) begins with more vocal breathy loops, which work their way into a subtle dance 808 rhythm then comes the drone airy synth that is delayed forever. It doesn't veer off into dance like Dan Deacon I think because it's essentially quiet. The bass doesn't overpower anything, it's not mixed to push the bass cones around. They hold back a little... it's like Lost in Translation...that dreamy looking out a rainy car window at the neon. Is everything in slow motion or really fast? There's a sample...'I felt terrible....like...I felt sick.' ....now I get the 'Walking Pneumonia' title...
The synth and vocals really bleed into each other, like they are in tune with each other, and become something else. Sunny Day really has a handle on this tweegaze sound...it's never overdone...it really sounds like they're pushing this genre...there's still places to go.
Catchy and repeatable at 33 1/3...of course, you can't build up something like this quickly, but they make the time work.
This is limited to 300 copies available from Geographic North....the rest reviewed this week...
....and look at that, they're coming to Death by Audio June 27th....