#2 – Lo-Fi Indie Pop
This edition published on 31 March 2008 is loosely themed on lo-fi indie pop and features some great music from around the world. Featured artists are: Church Camp (USA), Pulco (Wales), The Clampett Report (USA) and the sadly now defunct Melon Galia (Belgium). There are also tracks from Gwildor, MSP, Raymondo and the mighty James Yuill.
1. Kid Kipling – Pulco
2. The Middle – The Clampett Report
3. Science Fiction – Church Camp
3. Une Affaire Importante – Melon Galia
4. Cherry Tree – The Clampett Report
5. Summers Gown – MSP
6. Breathing In – James Yuill
7. Hangman – Church Camp
8. River Into Lake – Raymondo
9. Climbing Trees – Gwildor
10. L’Epaisseur D’Un Cheveu – Melon Galia
11. Love Of The Ocean – Pulco
Pulco is the current recording project of Ash Cooke – formerly frontman with Welsh indie darlings Derrero. In 2002 the band split and Ash decided to concentrate on helping raise his newly born son in the wilds of the North Wales. Although he decided (at least temporarily) to leave behind the indie-rock lifestyle, his irrepressible songwriting talent never waned and he has, since leaving Derrero, released 4 wonderful albums and an EP under the name of Pulco.
Pulco music is almost exclusively lo-fi – home-recorded on an old Tascam Portastudio. It’s none the worse for this. In fact there’s an inherent charm and accessibility about all that he does. The albums Wengen & Undersea Adventure feature an array of imaginitive arrangments which in addition to Ash’s deft guitar work and some beautiful vocal harmonies feature cheap keyboards, toy instruments and just about anything else he can lay his hands on that add something interesting into the mix. His most recent album Sorepaw, is a stripped-down much more folky album – intimate and intense.
Pulco has a unique view on the world – highly original and imaginitive lyrics that are often surprising and consistently entertaining. There’s humour and emotion and in my experience always something to grab the imagination.
Since being introduced to Pulco’s music through an exploration of the wonderful Folkwit Records roster, I have grown to love Pulco’s music. The word ‘genius’ is all to often overused but I would venture to risk that Pulco, in a very quiet and unassuming way is one of Wales’ if not the UK’s finest songwriters and musicians if not in fact, a genuine musical genius!
The last podcast featured a track from Sorepaw (‘Tudor Grains’), this time there are 2 tracks from the wonderful album ‘Undersea Adventure’ – no doubt we’ll drop in a track from Wengen some time soon.
We hear that Pulco is planning the release of a new free-to-download EP. We’ll be bringing you details of that as soon as.
Church Camp (we love the name!) is the recording project of singer and songwriter Jon Forrest Little. Jon is based in El Paso, Texas and was once singer with Albuquerque’s now near legendary The Ant Farmers. (Incidentally The Ant Farmers also featured Carl Peterson (The Clampett Report) and Darrell Sparks (brother of Brett of The Handsome Family).) The Church Camp press release informs us that Jon was “booted out” of the Ant Farmers after almost a decade with the band due to “increasingly erratic and unpredictable behaviour”. That was back in 1997. He’s since lead what some would describe as a colourful life having tried to establish an alternative newspaper in El Paso, spent some time in jail in New Mexico and been cured of mental illness through being “visited by an angel”.
Despite, or possibly because of, life’s ups and downs, Jon has gone on to produce some wonderfully original music. He describes his work as a “set of silly and serious songs” which in some ways does sum up his ability to deal with sometimes extremely serious issues with a lightness of touch and a catchy tune – quite a unique talent in many ways. He has collaborated with some of New Mexico’s finest indie musicians and has recently been recording some new material at the Handsome Family’s studio.
We have certainly become fans of his somewhat eccentric and quirky style and we’ll definitely be featuring some more tunes in future editions. Go visit Church Camp at: http://www.myspace.com/jonforrestlittle for more great songs. With a little bit of browsing you’ll also discover in Myspace a whole raft of tunes penned by JFL under various psuedonyms. Enjoy!
The Clampett Report
The Clampett Report feature the songwriting and vocal talents of Carl Peterson formally leader of the aforemetioned The Ant Farmers. It’s lo-fi garage-pop that has a genuinely shambolic charm combining an acute pop sensibility with a world-weariness characterised by Carl’s lyrics and deep gravelly vocal tones. Maybe it’s an acquired taste, but but I really dig this.
The podcast features 2 tracks: The Middle & Cherry Tree. I would highly recommend a visit to The Clampett Report’s Myspace profile to hear more. Oh and while you are there also drop in at: http://www.myspace.com/antfarmers and check out some wonderful tunes from Carl’s former band The Ant Farmers – further proof (if you need it) of a great songwriting talent.
Having belatedly discovered the wonderful music of Melon Galia, it’s sad to note that they are in fact no longer together. Originating from Brussels, Belgium, they had some not insignificant success having toured the USA and Canada – they also worked with Connor Oberst (Brighteyes) who helped produce their last album. I was interested to note that they were supported at one gig by a little band you may have heard of – Arcade Fire! Hope you enjoy the 2 tracks featured in the podcast. Despite their demise, all is not lost as the members have all moved on to establish new acts – namely XX, Le Yéti and the truly wonderful Soy Un Caballo. We hope to feature some of these acts which represent some of the best new music coming from Belgium in future editions.
Video Of The Month
This month, check out a little bit of fun Belgian indie pop from The Alphabet.