Andrew Morgan, Beach House, Spoon and Honour Before Glory

I think I first heard of Andrew Morgan via a Robin Hilton NPR blog post and an attendant mp3 file. Well something registered and I sent off to Broken Horse Records for the Please Kid, Remember CD. The terrifying geekly looking chap staring back from the cover doesn’t really hint at the sort of music contained within. The breathy vocal could be irritating but isn’t and there is something strangely familiar about the tracks and their sound, almost a cross between Elliott Smith and Badly Drawn Boy there is a peculiarly British sound to it all somehow, something I have just discovered referred to in the biog on the chaps web site. The seventeen tracks contain some very short, slight ones that might have made the whole affair feel fractured and disjointed but in fact the effect is one of joining up, building bridges between songs, the repetitions of all or parts of songs also contributing to the ‘whole-ness’. Victory in Passing, Turn Your Collar to the Wind are fine tracks among a clutch of soothing and satisfying songs

The sublime Teen Dream album from Beach House was again an alert from a blog post, this time from The Line of Best Fit . Although credited to just Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally, with live percussion from Daniel J Franz, there is a deep lushness to the sound. Flavours of grizzly Bear (who they support at Roundhouse gigs later this year) there are also twinges of Fleet Foxiness but all with a slightly more electro overtone. The ‘single’ Norway is of course gorgeous especially with its bendy guitar notes but other tracks like Silver Soul and 10 Mile Stereo ensure the whole affair is delicious stuff

Moving away from the lush corner of the room new Spoon offering, Transference, brings us back to life. Perhaps not a massive step in any direction but a very welcome return from the chaps. Ah those great choppy, jangly guitars and the strange use of sloppy reggae echo, I love his sound. Although doubtless the subject of hours of careful production it still sounds like it could have been knocked out in your front room. Immediate stand out tracks for me are I Saw the Light,
Got Nuffin and Written in Reverse. Grand stuff, as I say maybe not a great leap forward but then again they were already standing somewhere rather good… no UK date announced yet but we live in hope.

Finally the rather splendid Honour Before Glory, not just because of a great band name not the fact that Whiskas is out of the wonderful Forward Russia ( on a ‘break’, yea right!) and the sound fleshed out by a bunch of other chaps. A few dates in Germany has led to a very limited edition three track EP that can be bought via their Bandcamp site and streamed through their regular site. These three tracks are a tantalising glimpse into what may be coming with the trademark sparkling guitar work.
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