04 August 2010

The Sandwitches - duck duck goose! (2010, Secret Seven / Empty Cellar)

Big departure for the Sandwitches from their album “How to make ambient sandcake”. They are reduced to a duo here, the drummer has been sent back home. Reverb has been invited and a whispered folk attitude has replaced their previous indie rock style. It's like discovering a totally new band embracing with talent a melancholic songwriting with debts towards 70's folk (Bridget St-John, Nick Drake, Pearls Before Swine), or more recent explorers of slowcore like Movietone, Scott Tuma, Rivulets or Tara Jane O'Neil.

The title track is divided into two parts of instrumental ambient improvisations setting the atmosphere. Pleasant and well produced, it creates a kind of “This Mortal Coil” effect on the record. Effect even more pregnant with the presence of two cover songs. First, there is a cover of “Rock Gilbraltar” by Tim Cohen, a psych-folk songwriter who is signed on the same label and another one of “Baby Mine”, a song extracted from the Disney movie “Dumbo”. Both covers are models of depth and restraint and transcend the original version.

These four tracks would make decent record and a successful exercise for The Sandwitches, but the real wonderful surprise comes from their two original tracks. On “Stardust” and especially “Songs of the Songs”, there are a special strength and a sense of freshness, personal intimacy and sincerity, associated with a marvelous production, and it gives to The Sandwitches an identity of their own.

“Stardust” could be a nocturnal Movietone song with Tara Jane O'Neil singing but it's already much more than that, as through multiple listening , it only becomes more deep and subtle, a sweet enigma, like a ghost kissing your lips at night while you're sleeping.

After a song like “Song of songs”, I don't think The Sandwitches could return easily to the kind of indie rock trio songs they did on their debut album. This song is just a treasure, a lullaby hymn to put you to sleep, one of the dreamiest songs I've never heard. Acoustic guitar and subtle effects of her voice bring you to heaven. It's a masterpiece.

Highly recommended. Let's make a petition for more songs in this vein.

No comments:

Post a Comment