Shady Bard - From The Ground Up (Static Caravan) & Windmill - Puddle City Racing Lights (Melodic) Reviewed

on Saturday, 29 December 2007
Shady Bard - From The Ground Up (Static Caravan)
There's something undeniably beautiful about the work of Lawrence Becko's baritone vocals, bound to put some people off, others will just find it that bit more loveable, that bit more human, especially when you hear the wonderful lyrics set to such lovely piano based post rock, never going full on Explosions in the Sky but certainly heading that way towards the finale of the wonderous Penguins. Tracks such as Summer Came When We Were Falling Out and Fires are organic and frail almost amateur in appearance with milk bottle melodies and whistled refrains, acoustic post rock, and much lovelier for it.
The sound is wintry and beautiful yet is as warm as it is cold with enchanting lyrics such as "I think i'll take a walk in the park/ it's a cure for a broken heart" perhaps evoking slight comparisons to bands such as Low or The Tindersticks, maybe even The Twilight Sad in four albums time, less frantic and more experienced in life.
Bobby is reflective and not afraid to take & admit responsibility for past errors, humble and delightful and really nothing less than the quality you would expect from the superb Static Caravan label. These Quiet Times is angelic "I'll catch you falling, I'll catch you falling, I'll catch you falling , when you least expect" full to the brim of the kind of reassurance we all need in this paranoid world we have to cope with, Eluvium style piano's enter as the song peaks and the moment is just wonderful as the final chorus breaks in "won't you feed the birds in the winter time?"

Windmill - Puddle City Racing Lights (Melodic)
At the other end of the spectrum we have Windmill, for once an artist who can justify comparisons to the Flaming Lips, Neil Young and Mercury Rev, comparisons so relentlessly handed out to anyone with a remotley falsetto vocal.
The songs again are wonderful, upbeat and also resemblent of the much missed Homescience, mixing beats with classic piano chords this album is again nothing short of brilliant. The songs are heart wrenching yet wonderfully honest.
Interestingly Static Caravan have previously released one of the album highlights, opener Tokyo Moon, do you really need any more evidence that this label is genius?