Tess Parks & Anton Newcombe – “S/T”
It is always a bit weird when you stumble on artists a little way along in their careers. Tess Parks has made a number of releases and Anton has a huge catalogue of material through The Brian Jonestown Massacre. They’re a band we’ve heard a lot about, but somehow have just passed us by. Despite that, we’ve heard good things about this release so were eager to check it out.
We are certainly pleased we did as soon as we hear the slow and seductive slither of opening number “Life After Youth”. Songs like “Monochrome Wound” and “French Monday Afternoon” just slowly seduce you and hypnotise you in to being caught up in their charms.
The whole album has a dark and mellow feel to it. There aren’t really any crashing noises or distinctive sounds to catch your intention. Instead, songs like The Velvet Underground esque “Talking About The Weather” and “Right On” just allow you to wallow in the comfort they bring.
We’d love to hear songs like ”Mount Pleasant” and “Bindle” getting some mainstream radio play as they could really seduce a wider audience. A particular highlight is the brilliant “Please Never Die” which adds a really cool garage rock feel in to the mix.
On first listen this might not immediately seem like an album that would appeal to us. We’re more minded to a raucous rock n roll sound. But, this is a real quality release and it’s impossible not to be enchanted with these songs. Ironically, this lo-fi kind of sound has hit mass acclaim with the likes of Courtney Barnett. But on this release Tess and Anton show us how a band can really nail that reserved cool attitude in their songs but still deliver something that’s instantly appealing.