Posts Tagged ‘Various’

Come Play With Me – 17th July 2020

Christopher Nosnibor

Since their inception and their first release, Leeds label Come Play With Me have done a remarkable job of showcasing local talent and giving an outlet to an array of acts from the area – and to be fair, they’ve always been spoiled for choice.

As has been increasingly apparent over social media in particular lately, with attention all on schools, pubs, hairdressers, the music industry is foundering. Which is why this release is important, as a compilation record ‘to support contributing artists as they deal with the delays, cancellations and loss of income caused by the coronavirus pandemic’.

I may have mentioned it before: I’d questioned the appropriateness of reviewing under the circumstances, but with so many acts releasing new music under lockdown either out of boredom or necessity, following a certain degree of public pressure, I elected to press on, and releases like this remind me why.

Come Stay With Me is ‘a collection of 13 new songs from bands and artists across Leeds ‘Come Stay With Me’ will feature Magick Mountain, Talkboy, Dialect, Team Picture, Van Houten, Dead Naked Hippies and more with artwork from ‘Life’ drummer Stewart Baxter. Set for release in July on eco-vinyl, all profits from Come Stay With Me will be shared between the contributing artists.

What isn’t to support here? For those in need of a reason, here are plenty:

Team Picture are a band who invariably surprise: perhaps it’s because of their incorporation of so many disparate stylistic elements that they never sound like the same band. On this outing, they’ve gone for some Hi-NRG disco which is more Donna Summer than the indie seem they’ve mined previously.

Mindstate are a new name to me, and while I’m not taken by their brand of mellow, lougey jazz, it’s hard to fault the musicianship or their capacity to conjure a mellow, late-night club vibe with their chilled brass and skipping percussion. As it happens, the majority of the bands are unfamiliar, and it’s heartening to discover so many emerging artists. The majority are of an overtly ‘indie’ persuasion, and collectively, there’s something of a C86 vibe to this compilation.

But then, what goes around comes around, and the label is names after a song by on of the definitive indie bands of all time, local legends The Wedding Present.

But then Dialect’s ‘Come Up’ represents a vastly underrepresented aspect of the Leeds scene, with some direct and no-messing old-school bassy, beaty hip-hop. It hits hard and packs some meaty bass, too. That it’s very much a lone example amidst the stereotypically white indie probably suggests less an act of tokenism as how the various scenes in the city meet, and hearing this says it’s a shame and reminds us of just how far we still have to go to realise

Tall Talker’s ‘River Hands’ may be contemporary, but their noodly instrumental math-rock belongs to a rich heritage of technical post-rock that goes back to the turn of the millennium and reminds me of countless bands I saw at the Brudenell and various other venues around the city circa 2004-2008. There was a time I found this stuff a bit samey, but listening to this now, it’s hard not to get dewy-eyed. I’d rather listen to a thousand identikit instrumental post-rock acts than see venues going under and not be able to mill around at the bar between acts and discover new bands several nights a week.

Jagged post-punkers Dead Naked Hippies offer something different with the stark, broody electropop of the ‘Night Time Version’ of ‘Eyes Wide’, which sounds like Siouxsie and the Banshees remixed by Depeche Mode. Which means it’s absolutely killer.

Local supergroup and Pulled Apart by Horses offshoot Magic Mountain bring all the grungy surfy racket with ‘The Shitty Beatles’, and DENSE do a storming job of primitive lo-fi punk din with a contemporary spin on the ball-busting ‘Electric Chair’.

Dead Poets bring a slice of DIY folktronica, that boasts a dense cinematic production that belies its simplicity, and Talkboy’s demo for ‘Over Under’ is another classic indie cut with a certain vintage feel

The last track, ‘One Last Look Around’ by Household Dogs is interesting, musically and in terms of its place on the album: it’s brooding, reverby, and semi-gothic, at the same time calling to mind Post war Glamour Girls and early Pulp. It’s no understatement to say that this is an absolute revelation, and I’m buzzing for more Household Dogs. It makes me yearn even more for the live scene and situations where I can stumble upon new acts with ease. But in the meantime, stay alert, keep on the hunt for new artists and support music any and every way you can.

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