Pictish Trail

This instalment of fetching, endearing, reckless and often diaphanous treats include the following fancy tickling artists/bands: The Vickers,  Black Strobe, The Pictish Trail, 

Mikey Georgeson & The Civilised Scene, Go Wolf and 

Lukas Creswell-Rost.

The Vickers  ‘Senseless Life’  (Black Candy Records)  Available Now

Taking another sip from the dazed cup of paisley nostalgia, Florentine psych dreamers, The Vickers, let another languid dreamy tune escape into the ether. Taken from their recent LP, Ghosts, featured a couple of months back on these very pages, ‘Senseless Life’ is a tremolo echoed lover-pained drifters lament, half H.P. Lovecraft half Floyd. A suitable hazy sepia toned litmus paper video accompanies their latest wistful balled.

Black Strobe  ‘The House Of Good Lovin’  (Blackstrobe Records)  Taken from the Going Back Home EP, released 26th May 2014

Though our chosen taster ‘The House Of Good Lovin’ is a slice of unashamed good ol’ rock’n’roll, with a contemporary touch of laser precise guided synth, most of the fare on the comeback EP from the French group Black Strobe, moves to an entirely different beat. Returning after a two-year hiatus, the Arnaud Rebotini led group revel in the blues, hard Northern European alternative rock and plaintive hi-enegry disco electronica, returning to their electroclash roots but with a certain middle-aged maturity that sounds like a more charismatic Dave Gahan singing over a Front 242 song, remixed by James Murphy. In all, bombastic, though highly sophisticated, industrial dance floor fun.

The Pictish Trail  ‘Wait Until’  9th June 2014

Adroitly penned and eloquently subtle, the latest single from Johnny Lynch, who goes under the nom de plume of The Pictish Trail, is a humbling plaintive of hushed anxiety and loss. Following in the wake of his Mother’s passing, this gentle, attentive electronic eulogy pulses with beatific isolation and grief.  Lynch will also be releasing the Secret Soundz Volume 1 & 2 compilation on the same date as this startling single. A croft industry polymath, running an empire from the remote Hebridean island of Eigg, Lynch has recently set up a new label, Lost Map Records, and will be running a festival, the Howlin’ Fling, in July.

Mikey Georgeson & The Civilised Scene  ‘Till It’s Over’  (Pop-Z)  19th May 2014


Hot on the heels of, perhaps one of the Monolith’s favourite singles of 2014, ‘My Heroine’, and the equally delightful witty pastoral pop of the Blood & Brambles LP that spawned it, is this latest twee paean, ‘Till It’s Over’. Wistfully capturing Neil Hannon’s Divine Comedy and The Bonzo Dog Do-Dah Band, the reincarnated Deviant and progenitor of some of the Britpop and later period’s most esoterically humorous bands, has one foot in the crooner camp, the other in debunked nostalgia. Crafted to perfection as always, waltzing to a happy-go-lucky European romanticised etched Billy Childish backdrop, Till It’s Over is as charismatic as you’d expect and enjoyable as you’d expect. Another supreme pop nugget, and damn sight less melancholic than Richard Hawley.

Go Wolf   ‘One More Night’  2nd June 2014

Maybe it’s down to the change in the weather, cooped up for the last five months in the shadow of a turbulent and rain-soaked saturated miasma, but we’re enjoying our new found sunny disposition. To prove it, here’s the debut single from the neon-lit electronic romantics, Go Wolf. Twinkling with radiant, sun-kissed synth refrains, scuttling percussion and tight multilayered drum patterns, ‘One More Night’ melts in the gleaming headlights of brooding 80s pop, hiding with its sparkly melody the often overlapping and complex backing. Let’s see how long this uplifting spell can last.

Lukas Creswell-Rost  ‘Week Of Warmth’  (Plain Sailing Records)  Taken from the Go Dream LP, released date still to be decided 

It’s not often that someone manages to weave elements of a forlorn saxophone Bowie from the Young Americans period with Steely Dan and the more recent Jim O’ Rourke, but Lukas Creswell-Rost has. His upcoming concept driven opus, Go Dream, is both a standalone series of mini-episodes and a road movie imbued eulogy on fame, ambition, success and failure.

‘Week Of Warmth’ is a lament to the fateful Bad Finger, as told from the point of view of their ‘greedy’ impresario manager, Stan Polley, whose less than desirable financial handling’s left the band in hock. Badfinger’s empyreal lead singer, Pete Ham, would commit suicide in 1975, leaving a note that contained very damaging and damning evidence against Polley. If that wasn’t terrible enough, Tom Evans from the band would go on to commit suicide in 1983 after falling out with another band member, Joey Molland over potential royalties for their startling balled hit, ‘Without You’ – though no note was left this time, Evans had multiple falling outs with other members of the group and ex-managers too and had never really recovered from the loss of Pete Ham. This misfortune is tenderly whispered by Creswell-Rost over a tenderly, fiddled acoustic guitar opening that glides through three distinct changes, from the hushed placid start through the cool sax piqued middle section and into the final lush choral pop climax and then comedown.

A relocation from Leeds to the thriving artistic cauldron of berlin has done the boy wonders.


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