Tuesday 31 August 2021

The New Existentialists - Poetry is Theft

I have this fantasy of what the perfect Julian Cope album might sound like. It would draw on his ancient past (melody and melodrama), distant past (big-hearted rock with no pomp) and the past he often captures better when writing about it than drawing from it (Japanese psych and motorik propulsion). That album's not going to happen, but it happens, sort of, in Poetry is Theft.

Because The New Existentialists synthesise those influences and go somewhere else. Sometimes by imagining where Roxy Music might have gone with those reference points. But The New Existentialists are led by The Puddle's George D Henderson, so this theatrical romp is intoxicating and makes you realise after a few plays that what you thought you were listening to is something different, something better still.

So I might have been listening to a darkly atmospheric, richly melodic and casually louche XTC playing Microdisney. Or I might have been listening to what the third Only Ones album, Baby's Got A Gun, would have sounded like if it hadn't been cursed by major label interference and narcotic over-indulgence. And if Prince had been in the sound booth.

I'm still not sure what I'm listening to, other than something mad, captivating and wonderful.

Sunday 29 August 2021

Friendly Boyfriend - Pick Up!

From Gothenburg - where else? - Friendly Boyfriend are sleazy Vaselines noise (cheap keyboards, instant tunes and the possibility that just maybe "Julie's Head" is a euphemism), seasick Beat Happening guitars tuned to the key of what the fuck, and in Sleeping (On Your Couch) the numb despair and desolation of Television Personalities' Far Away And Lost In Joy. Or maybe they were thinking Big Star's Third. Same difference.

And? And they cover The Clean's Beatnik if you had any doubts where their hearts truly lie. Four songs, one 7" single. All excellent. Any serious conversation about 2021's single of the year has to include this. Buy now before it starts trading hands for silly money.