It's been two years since the last DaveCromwellWrites track-by-track review feature on The Suncharms. Back then a thorough and detailed review was given on their magnificent “Distant Lights” album. Now they're back with a brand new full-length recording “Things Lost,” once again released on the fantastic Sunday Records label. The full Cromwell focus is now turned towards the essential sonic pleasures this release has to offer.
The first thing heard as the album begins is a light crackle, as if a vinyl LP is being played. Cymbals quickly enter and then the lush, hooky guitar melody of opening track “3.45” push everything into motion. Lead vocalist Marcus Palmer wastes no time planting his multi-layered, sandpaper vocals down in classic Jim and William JAMC style. A subtle xylophone (or marimba) counter melody emerges as “records start spinning” and “my heart is breaking.” There's a gorgeous, snaking guitar solo weaving it's way through the center of the track, up against that romantic chord progression. A harmonica enters the fray in the latter half as well, on this song that appears to be about a recurring dream. “It always end the same – at 3.45”
The not-nearly-as-dark-as the title might suggest follow-up track “Satanic Rites” has more in common with Merseybeat than any kind of “devil rock.” In fact the title references British horror film “The Satanic Rites of Dracula” which apparently in this long-distance-love-lost song is the “only thing left behind” from their initial relationship. The guitar chords and vocals on this chorus combines power, beauty and melancholy.
On to album title track “Things Lost” pairs classic jangle guitar with smooth, low-key Reid-style vocals for maximum effect. A rumination on times past, “taking me back to my younger self” evolves into “boxes of light (that) have disappeared.” Wonderful interplay between an undulating bass guitar, light touch drumming and dominant hook guitars all contribute to a perfect listening experience. Special mention for the keyboards added at the end. Fourth entry “Whitby” combines a romantic night in that North Yorkshire, England seaside town with more Dracula references. “Looking out at the abbey from Bram Stoker's room” and “no fresh blood on the scene” would suggest as much. Along with mentions of “an everlasting night” and “no reflection in the mirror” make this simultaneous “northern soul” homage an instant classic.
“Daylight is Here” pivots off a reverberated “Be My Baby” drum into and easy-groove guitar line. With verses delivered in that now familiar Marcus style, the songwriting brilliance of having a guitar melody running simultaneously in-tandem with vocals is always a delight. A song about staying “to hear the bands last song” and missing your train is a truly relatable commuter choice. A lovely twangy guitar solo provides an audio link between night before reverie and this early morning comedown. “Red Wine Kisses” powers along a 4 chord progression that melds bright chiming guitars with snaking bass progression and slap-crash drums. A lovely female vocal harmony pairs with Marcus on the wistful chorus that goes “Red wine kisses – I'm sure gonna miss you – even though it never began.” The appropriately placed guitar solo is once again, exquisite.
“Dark Sails” rides over a bold and buzzy anthemic lead-guitar figure with acoustic guitars strumming underneath. Quaint lyrics about getting “a postcard yesterday – strange in this digital age,” are delivered with classic 90's MaryChain/Chapterhouse aplomb. An angelic female voice returns to harmonically enhance the title-line chorus. Additionally, subtle keyboard elements appear as backing on subsequent verses and again at the songs conclusion. “Demonic Eyes” joins a plaintive guitar-melody hook with tambourine rattle percussion. An introspective look at oneself via train ride through nostalgia that includes actors circa 1964. “Do you explore?” is the essential question. It's answered earlier on, with “people so intimate – I'm eager to explore.”
A shimmering guitar approximates the audio equivalent of what song title “Torrential Rain” might sound like. Straightforward hard charging bass guitar and drums lock down a solid rock rhythm. Lyrically referencing an “overgrown cemetery,” “angels with moss faces” and “broken tombs,” leads to a search for “something to make me feel alive.” The final minute instrumental end-out is truly magnificent and soooo MaryChainy. Final cut “Last Tram” emerges out of distant clangs before laying down a bouncy, merseybeat groove. A rising counterpoint bassline adds an unanticipated additional melody to the progression. Further unexpected elements develops in the form of an intimate spoken word end-out. “I'm always chasing the girl with the Autumn coat,” he states - “and the last tram that never arrives.”
Listen to and find out how to acquire this dreamy recording here:
Check out what Sunday Records has to offer via their links - Official Site - Facebook - Instagram - TwitterX - YouTube
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Back in February of this year, the DCW audio-scope did a thorough listen and breakdown analysis of talented and multi-skilled artist Julian Shah-Tayler's full length album “Elysium.” With both that album and this particular deep-dive review receiving critical raves from the most discerning listeners, the hope for a follow-up combination was anticipated. We have now arrived at that point with a new single from the artist having recently been released. A full investigation into this new song and video for “Fall Apart” follows below.
As the video opens with morphing imagery of stylized boy and girl animation (credited to Kaiber AI), synthetic keyboard tones reminiscent of the classic AHA track “Take On Me” poke out an instantly catchy melody. Briskly paced percussion also conjures up an 80's feel, complete double-clap accents on the turnarounds. “You can watch my life fall apart - in broken hearts - before your very eyes” Julian sings in his familiar Bowie-esque style. A song of heartbreak, there's no bitterness here as the singer instead shows how much they still care, focusing on his lost lover's “beautiful eyes.”
An enticing synth-bassline stands out in the open sonic spaces as a second series of lyrics evoke images of “skin on skin” and “violence suffered all in silence.” The emotional churn continues where an attempt to “show you paradise” deteriorates into “ split our needs in two” ultimately leading to a dramatic audio peak on the final word of “a reality I just can’t face.” Classical strings (via synths) accent the lyrics on subsequent passages, along with fluttering percussion rising up underneath it all. A cascading buzzing drive to conclusion that includes real or synthetic guitars brings everything home.
Check out this amazing track here:
Connect with Julian Shah-Tayler/The Singularity via his Social Media here.
A Previous Feature on Julian and his music can be found on this site Here.
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