Thursday, 12 March 2009

The Wave Pictures - 'If You Leave It Alone' (Moshi Moshi 2009)

The Wave Pictures' sophomore album is a heart-warming collection of shanties and ditties, all warm and fuzzy and imbued with the spirit of liveness, thisness and moment-capturing. Eschewing the more produced electronic production that gave their 'Instant Coffee Baby' album a more processed sound, they're stripped back, filled the frequencies with gorgeous finger-picked guitars, and Stanley Brinks' emotive horns. This collection of songs is more story-based. With its folkish harmonies and thumping brushed drums, 'My Kiss' tells a dreamy tale of an awry kiss, while 'Bumble Bee' has a fantastical Lewis Carol quality to it. Singer Dave Tattersall has a charming quality to his voice, halfway between bluster and self-conscious, his wavering melodies and confessional tone make for a beguiling and engaging set of songs, all celebrating warmth and love and the point at which fantasy and reality duel with each other. His wit and image-invention is well-worn and well-honed, erudite and most of all relatable in its dreamy take on reality. The album was recorded in one twelve session and you can hear the journey the band takes you on throughout, there is a live feeling to proceedings, a celebration of the thisness of capturing a moment. Along with Emmy the Great, this is proof-positive that British bands can capture a beautiful and engaging folk sound so well.


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