Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Liverpool artists in retro music shocker

The Coral are one of these bands that I’m pretty familiar with, without having really spent that much time with their music. Maybe it’s because of the ubiquity of the first two albums – their eponymous debut and Magic and Medicine – coming hot on each other’s heels in 2002 and 2003. They seemed to find a way right into the hearts of the British record-buying public, a position that seemed under threat by the subsequent releases of an album of outtakes and a by-all-accounts underwhelming third ‘proper’ album, The Invisible Invasion.

Which is probably why on their fifth long player, The Coral are sticking with what they do best – retro guitar pop. They’re a band so obviously a product of their city, with its history of Merseybeat and other classic rock ‘n’ roll, and the very title of Roots and Echoes gives an indication of what lies inside. 'Roots' could mean their hometown heritage, or even the West Cost twang which is also evident on this record. 'Echoes', well, could be, er, the echoey production, which contributes even further to the retro sound. But it’s all pretty good, solid stuff. There’s something I admire about James Skelly, Nick Power and co, being as they are so seemingly oblivious to music trends. When the rest of the nation’s youth is chasing spiker guitar and synth sounds, they’re happy in their 60s furrow. And that doesn’t mean they’re stuck in a rut either – there’s something of a breeze about this album. A band who’re comfortable with themselves and aren’t looking to change to suit fashion. I hate the use the word ‘maturity’, because it’s so often a pejorative term, but here it’s both appropriate and no bad thing.

Download: The Coral – Jacqueline
Download: The Coral – Put the Sun Back

The other Liverpool artist under scrutiny today is Candie Payne. She hasn’t come from out of nowhere either. Her brother Howie was in the now defunct band The Stands, and other bro Sean still hits skins for The Zutons. I’m not sure if that gives her more of a leg up in the music biz or not, but there you go. In any case, she’s pursued her own line in retro-tinged pop, but slightly differently to her siblings and The Coral. Hers is more of an orchestrated sound. Think Scott Walker, John Barry or maybe even Dusty and you’re getting there. Not that Candie is in the same league though, but it’s her first album, so I’m not going to be too harsh on her.

There’s a clue in the album title too. Calling your album after the lead track suggests that maybe that song's the best thing you’ve got. And in Candie’s case this is definitely right. I Wish I Could Have Loved You More is a brilliant pop tune referencing classic Northern Soul as it sweeps through with its strings, ace piano break, propulsive rhythm and Candie’s voice soaring above. There’s nothing else quite as good as this on the rest of the album, though there are plenty other pleasures to be had, some of them more melancholy ones. In the end, like Roots and Echoes, it’s not an album to change your life, but both are decent albums that should certainly bring a certain little happiness your way, and further confirm Liverpool’s reputation as a home for quality retro pop.

Download: Candie Payne – I Wish I Could Have Loved You More
Download: Candie Payne – By Tomorrow

Candie’s new single One More Chance has been given a remix by homme du jour Mark Ronson. Check out the video here. She’s also about to be introduced to the wider public supporting Ronson on his upcoming tour. Dates on her myspace. The Coral are also touring this autumn. Their myspace too has the gen.

Buy Roots and Echoes and I Wish…


jessicajlee said...


Do you know if the emmy ep is available for download? I am so confused about the Aiko bonus track thing...

I got my vinyl, additionally, and it has weird things scratched into the centre. How's yours?

The Daily Growl said...

It doesn't seem to be on any download sites yet. It's not on iTunes or emusic. My understanding is that Aiko is an extra track on the download EP. Guess we'll have to wait for that...

My run-out groove reads 'For Uncle Sam'

jessicajlee said...

Mine too.

Viagra Online said...

This is totally perfect because I love the Britain music, specially this band because they have a retro style.