Friday 24 July 2020

Romero - Honey

Wow! If we’re doing singles of the year, then tear up the ballot papers, cancel the rest of 2020 and hand Romero the gong for Honey. And b-side of the year for Neapolitan.

Romero are from Melbourne but share musical DNA with two of the great one-hit wonders of the past 5 years, both Sydney bands with an art rock edge. There’s the wiry noise and breakneck pace of Point Being’s Degustation, and the angular, full Fall fury of Display Homes’s Climate Change.

Perhaps most obviously, though, Romero trade in nagging, intense verse hook melodies like The Strokes once did so irresistibly. They’re the first Australian act who look like they can go global without any nods to dolewave (they’ve got nothing in common with Courtney Barnett or Rolling Blackouts). Honestly? I’d be happy if they make more records. And if the Display Homes album, originally scheduled for January 2019, comes out.

Hat tip to Glaswegian garage rock love god Brogues for alerting me to this modern classic.

Sunday 5 July 2020

The Altons - When You Go (That's When You'll Know)

Well, this is a song that knows how to announce itself: a breathless r&b groove that slips into intense southern soul.

Excellent though that is, I’m here for the b-side, Over and Over: soul so devotional, dramatic and tragic it’s a wonder the band didn’t sign a suicide pact before the tape rolled.

It’s the pop-soul ballad done with old-fashioned simplicity that aches with elegance and ardour, and will never go out of fashion.

Penrose is Daptone’s new subsidiary and The Altons are one of 5 acts with new 7”s kicking off the label.

Next to The Altons, the very best is Jason Joshua’s Language of Love. Joshua released possibly my favourite soul single of the last two years, Rose Gold, but his album didn’t quite cut it. He’s back on the top of his game now.

Thee Sinseers debuted on Colemine last year, but they left me cold. I’m all over Seems Like, though, their new deep soul pleading 45 on Penrose. Keep an eye on this label.