Monday, August 18, 2008

Left With Pictures


End of the Road Festival is only three years old in September, but already it seems to be the place for me to discover great new artists, even if I didn't actually see them there. The first two years have seen performances by artists that I have gone on to love, then regret I had failed to see them the previous September, mainly because I had never heard (of) them at the time. So the inaugural 2006 festival saw me missing sets by the then-unknown-to-me Barbarossa, Frightened Rabbit and Pink Mountaintops. Last year's bash saw me missing Zombie Zombie, Dawn Landes and Woodpigeon.

The good folks from Organ Grinder Records were a bit more on the ball than me when they first saw Left With Pictures at the 2007 EOTR. Here was a band, new to them, who blew them away. As they explain, they "couldn't believe [Left With Pictures] weren't signed" and knew that they "had to work with them". And so, almost on the eve of this year's festival, the band's new EP, their first on Organ Grinder, is released.

Left With Pictures are three blokes, Stuart Barter, Toby Knowles and Robert Wilkes from London who play elegantly crafted songs that echo English folk, but are shot through with a large dose of pop. 'Chamber pop' proclaims their myspace and that about nails it. The EP in question - titled Secretly after its lead track - is a delicately played thing (you get the impression that these lads are pretty decent musicians), with lovely arrangments - all swooping oohs and aahs and carefully stroked violins. My current favourite track Super-8 reminds me a little of the recent output of Euros Childs, but with more strings. All in, it's a cracking little EP, six songs well worth 17 minutes of your time - then a few more once you realise how good they are.

So here's the tune. I'm now preparing for next month's EOTR by listening to as many of the bands and artists as I can in advance. I don't want to miss out on anything else great this year.

mp3: Left With Pictures - Super-8

Buy the Secretly EP from the Organ Grinder website once it's out on 29 August. In the meantime, you can buy previous LWP releases from their myspace, including their current collaboration with Peggy Sue and the Pirates, called Peggy Sue and The Pictures, natch.

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