I'm a bit of a disadvantage here, knowing nothing about Crispian Mills, an English based artist who's probably best known for Kula Shaker's psyche-folk lush sound, but Ho-Hum Records has finally released two tracks recorded 10 years ago with Mark Pritchard during a hiatus period with Kula Shaker.
"Healing Hands" starts out with a jungle soundscape which leads us to some kind of back porch blues psyche direction until the main acoustic melody expands into a modern electronic direction with more bass and instrumentation. Being recorded at the tail end of the shoegaze explosion era, the late nineties, it's heavily informed by the sounds of the time. There's a dash of northern soul in Crispian breathy vocals over warbly electric, funky organ and a slow shaker. She's got healing hands and he just wants to be her man.
The B-Side, "Be Merciful", is a slow acoustic picked track with Crispian's vocals heavy and up front in the mix. This one has a lonesome country-esque sound, a touch of folk, with psychedelic mystical metaphors next to essentially a blues theme, utter powerlessness, begging for mercy, being unable to control what comes next. The baritone flute or synth sound coming up from behind nails the whole sadness home...you know it wasn't going to do any good.
If you're a fan of the Kula Shakers or the fringes of the late 90's english psyche then pick this heavyweight vinyl up from the overseas label, Ho-Hum Records.
In a real coup for Ho Hum, we are excited to release "Healing Hands"and "Be Merciful" from the 1990s sessions where Crispian was exploring a solo album on Sony Records. Whilst the album never made the light of day, these two treasures now will.