I cast my ear over an as eclectic as always quartet of records in the December issue of The Ocelot (read it here) . The selection included 2 débuts a prolific youngster and a returning old master. Three of the records were united in the “variety is the spice of life” sense, full of ideas, influences and styles, whilst Neil Young just does what Neil Young does best…
Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Psychedelic Pill
New Neil Young material is always welcome, and this doesn’t disappoint. With eight tracks spread over 2 discs there are some gargantuan, jammed out running times but thankfully no baggy weak points. Opening with the twenty-seven minute sprawl of Driftin’Back, a high standard is set and then followed. Treading familiar paths of down home country folk mixed in with psychedelic sounds this is a creative recording that doesn’t break new ground for Young, but then, does he really need to?
Cosmo Jarvis – Think Bigger
Amazingly, considering he is only 22 this is Cosmo’s 3rd album. A DIY effort on his own label it is a brilliant concoction of influences, styles and sounds that should be beyond his years. Hummable pop melodies abound, within alt-country structures that are punctuated with funk, soul, blues, rock and most other styles you could name. Strings sourced on eBay and jazzy horns add depth and the whole album sounds varied but is imprinted with his personality and imagination to stunning effect.
Rebekah Delgado – Don’t Sleep
Atmospheric début solo album from London based Delgado. Eccentric and eclectic throughout and featuring unusual tunings, strange instrumentation and edgy structuring the whole record has a darkly brooding air about it, making it feel a little like the sound-track to a creepy Tale of the Unexpected. But shot through with odd little moments of melody and pop like an indie Lana Del-Ray. Echoes of PJ Harvey, Leonard Cohen and Nick Cave also float around what is a haunting but brilliant record.
Waves Of Fury – Thirst
A strong début album from this highly regarded West-Country band. They have fixed upon a formula based around Rhythm & Blues but liberally dosed it with all sorts of other ideas, Motown, punk, indie and soul all soak through in generous amounts of fuzzy guitars, sharp horns and melodic but uneasy vocals. Lyrically it is literate and creative with a subjective bite to it. Really enjoyable but the final puzzle is where will they go after this?