Saturday, 2 July 2011

Super Vinyl Adventure Club

In the words of a terrible song by a terrible band, "it's been a while". But you can't keep a good secret club down! Armed with fresh impetuous and some cash lining my pocket, I headed to Monorail to see what can be found.


I've blogged about Monorail before. They're lovely people. And they are music people. Monorail have a New Releases section just as you walk in the door, which I love because quite often when I go into record shops, my mind goes completely blank as to what has been released recently. A quick browse through this quite surprisingly doesn't throw up anything, so I begin my quest alphabetically. Monorail signpost their racks with bands of note, and then the remaining section of a letter is everything else that begins with that letter. It's a nice system, and by seeing artists I often am reminded of things I might be looking for. They also have their own recommendations scrawled on the chalk board behind the counter. They also display recent and recommended releases on the selve behind the till as well. Which is good, as I'll come back to.


Racks A-R proved unfruitful. However, I struck gold in 'S'. I've always said all the best bands start with S. A signed copy of Sons And Daughters new LP 'Mirror Mirror'? Why thank you! After 2008's 'This Gift' the band have returned to their signature dark/indie/almost dirty stripped back sound, which saw them garner success intially. Released on Domino, 'Mirror Mirror', kicks off with free download 'Silver Spell', which has that deep dark sound, and a pounding outro.

Sons & Daughters - Silver Spell by DominoRecordCo

Single 'Breaking Fun' has a wobbly guitar intro (pardon my lack of technical knowledge) and is very Edwyn Collins / Joy Division influenced. Lead singer Adele Bethel's vocals are temptingly sex, with a hint of danger lurking in her voice. Showcased to perfection on tracks like 'Orion' and 'Rose Red'. The album has been produced by one half of Optimo, JD Twitch, and it's job well done on his part. Unlikely to be the album which pushes Sons And Daughters onto bigger things, but it certainly has pushed them back to better things.

Credit must go to the staff because also, quite correctly, in the S section was She & Him's debut LP 'Volume One'. Having got my paws on 'Volume Two' late last year, I absolutely lapped up their dreamy pop songs, and the fact the Zoey Deschanel voice is as beautiful as her face helps. 'Why Don't You Let Me Stay Here?' is an absolute breeze of fresh air, and a joy to listen to. Pop music should always be this fun. Beatles cover 'I Should Have Known Better' is done to perfection, a rare feat in my opinion, and the rest of the album represents perfectly the cover art of a sun.

 Remember the stock behind the counter? Well it caught my roaving eye, and alerted me to the fact I still hadn't bought Bill Wells & Aiden Moffat's LP 'Everything's Getting Older'. So there it was. Sitting nicely on the shelve. With no prize tag might I add, which is cunning on the part of the owners, because I asked for it. And then found out it was £29.99. Ouch. But having taken it home and listen to it over and over and over, like a monkey with a minature cymbol, it's worth every penny. In fact it would be worth every penny for the album alone, but this behemoth comes with three vinyl's, a music and lyrics booklet, and a CD with all the music and bonuses as well. Value at it's best. As I said it would be worth it for the LP alone. 'Everything's Getting Older' is quite easily one of my albums of the year so far. It's an album of acceptance, of dreams relenquished and given up. An album of reminiscene, and remembering times gone by. It's an album of sheer beauty, such as opener 'Tasogare', which gently leads into the equally ambient 'Let's Stop Here'. It's an album of drugdery and sorrid tales, evidenced clearly on 'Glasgow's Jubilee' which tells the tale of sex amongst the inhabitants of the song, but underlying this tale is the mantra of "we could all be dead tomorrow". 'The Greatest Story Ever Told' is a humbling song, sung with compassion and love, reminding us that "we invented love". Despite the bleak falls of this album, each song has a message, a certain optimism that resonates after each listen. Undoubted highlight is 'The Copper Top'. Rather than ramble anymore, I leave you with it below.

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