Monday, May 17, 2010
La Muenca de Sal & Anthony Reynolds -Blues for Bobby Solo- on Chaffinch records
Chaffinch records was kind enough to contact me a few weeks back and airmail this single over from from Anthony Reynolds and La Muenca de Sal from halfway across the world to 7Inches headquarters.
There's a long line of singer/songwriters who make their way through the changes and trends of the contemporary musical landscape and stick to their definitive style and vision with an endless streaming supply of material. Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits or Scott Walker, who Anthony admittedly shares his aesthetic went as far as to write a definitive biography of the enigmatic singer, they all have an idiosyncratic musical point of view and honestly don't seem like they have much use for a popular audiences approval. They have accolades enough from their peers and basically wrote their own way into the scene by sheer will power and this purely personal vision.
The AA Side 'It's a Wonderful Life' really provides a backdrop for Anthony's baritone machismo, sounding like Peter Murphy or recent era Bowie. It's a produced dark superstar vocal style...it's Bono in the desert wearing a leather jacket and sunglasses in front of a windmachine. It's songs about black coffee, getting drunk one night stands...in a mysterious foreign cafe. It's all a little unclear, at times it's bordering depressing, but done a pop style, maybe that's the point...that opposition of seemingly upbeat tempo's against the tragedy. Even a little claustrophobic at times, he's singing right on top of you, smothering the listeners, mixed way on top of the instrumentation which is barely there. Anthony's vocals are clearly the spotlight from his menacing whisper to belting out a chorus.
'Be my next ex-girlfriend' goes a little electronic with subtle piercing percussion clicks, against a classical piano...th subject is a typical failed romance, it starts out under the wrong circumstances and is helped along by alcohol and bad decisions...I don't know who's worse off, the narrator, or the girl who maybe doesn't see it coming. The fact they're both kind of OK with the arrangement is even more depressing. But you wouldn't know it from the groove. Anthony seems to be trying to get some kind of pleasure out of playing out the misfortune of all his characters.
Puzzlingly, the insert, which I thought were lyrics to one of the tracks here, is actually from a forthcoming book of poetry... he can't stop....whatever form his work is going to take...I'm always amazed at the crazy stories behind every lowly piece of 7" vinyl pressed out there.
Available from Chaffinch Records.