Thursday, February 21, 2013
Prism Tats on Whooping Crane Records
Katy emailed me about her new label in Seattle Whooping Crane Records and this single from Prism Tats, the solo project of South African singer/songwriter G Vandercrimp, who is combining a huge number of references into bizarre layered pop gems that I have to think can only really be absorbed on this format. An entire album would be overwhelming without a proper introduction like this.
I love that the track titles on the reverse side of the sleeve are photos of graffiti text on the side of a building, did they already find these titles out there in the world or put them there? A lot on answered questions, starting with the references on "Vacant & Impatient". It starts out a dirty garage-pop sound, but once they hit this chorus there's a lot more going on here in it's '80s Honeydrum feel. Something from the glam era combined with this INXS production. Just when it feels like it's on the edge of that alley at night, you burst out into the beach, littered with with the trash from the night before... but damn nice, at least hopeful. Chunky jangle guitar, the strings scraping across the pick...or.... I guess the other way around. That metallic flutter comes off perfectly clear, the enthusiastic '80s pop shines through a gritty electric and bass. It's minimal at points, and loose, but this Hutchence vocal soulfully blows through this the whiole scene "I feel like I can't live without you girl". Teetering between a garage punk and an over the top teenage soundtrack sound, completely indulgent in a great way. It doesn't feel calculated or played a million times and there can be a real overt joy in it's delivery. The last third of this stays in a darker groove pace with low end riffs and howls and wails of vocals in a funk chorus. The romantic part is pver, the love is gone winding this out to the end with boingy bass notes.
"Haunt Me" has an impressive, mysterious spring echo, creepy synth and a locomotive rhythm. It's a weird kind of country + weirdo folk, nu wave, minimal electric? Emotional vocals in pure harmonies, building up a Fleetwood Mac sound with this bassline and vocal combo, breaking up the ride of harmony and '70s mellow melody. The falsetto harmony is genius, the more I hear this, the more it comes off as pure Ariel channeled sounds without the layeres of process and format fidelity in the way. Real bizarre songwriting that's completely unexpected, and from that laser focus of Garrett Van Der Spek? The mystery continues.
Pressed on mint green vinyl, with a black and white enveloppe sleeve, from Whooping Crane Records. Great first release from a crazy talent. Yay Katy.