Saturday 30 May 2015

Michael O: Really?

The bad pun Michael O's given his debut album belies the scrappy romance and tender twists of Really? The obvious touchstone is Jonathan Richman's Back In Your Life (spare, simple pop songs) and I'm So Confused (delicate with barely restrained sentimentality).

My first thought was 'US indie folk that City Slang was putting out about 15 years ago, Wheat and Kingsbury Manx'. But these miniature masterpieces suggest Michael O's been listening to The Church's cavernous anthems and working out a way to strip them down to something more human and touchable.

My second thought was 'this is on Fruits & Flowers, the USA's finest new record label, let me at it'. Fruits & Flowers remind me of the Make A Mess label who came racing out of the traps in 2008 with a stream of brilliant releases. F&F put out the Piano Movers 7" last year; they used to be Nodzzz, who were on Make A Mess. There's some sweet coincidence right there.

As long as there are records like Really? and labels like Fruits & Flowers I think everything's going to be alright.

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