Leaving Richmond – The Bird and the Submarine EP
A message arrived via Facebook this morning. The band name attracted me, as Richmond, London, has a special place in my heart. The Richmond in this case is Richmond Hills, New York, but it doesn’t matter. I clicked a link and my iTunes player started playing an mp3 of Tiny Things.
A sweet, sweet memory of David Bowie’s ‘Warszawa’ morphs into something wholly fresh and captivating.
The synchronicity is perfect.
It’s an early Autumnal morning, the weak sun lighting up the red and gold leaves of the oaks in Richmond Park. I turn up the volume and leaving Richmond has never been so sweet. I am smitten and I am bitten. I want to hear more. I want to hear it all.
So, what do we have here? Well, surprises, actually.
Although my default setting is music with words and vocals, I have been accidentally listening to a lot of purely instrumental stuff recently. Some of it has been ambient, glassy and serene, some of it has been deep, dark and oceanic but The Bird and the Submarine is different.
The title track is chiming 80s guitars, thunderous John Entwistle bass, ‘Scary Monsters’ era Bowie drums and sci-fi soundtrack synths. Then it changes into some twisted, merry-go-round carousel ride, then fades out with crystal guitar chords.
What is that?
The needle-is-stuck start of I’ll Find Meaning, Just Not Today suddenly rushes off down a water-slide of echoey guitars and 90s Ibiza synth wails, propelled by The Clash-like bass and flat-out drumming. Then stop-start stabs and glossy, glittery Stratocasters roll on to a long, low bass note. I want to go down the slide again. Now!
Backlit Narrative has acoustic guitars strumming below some surf-echo electric licks, while the chord progression builds tension, which finds release through the high, floating keys. Brilliant.
I can’t tell you how exciting this stuff is.
The EP ends with The Aftermath Never Adds Up which is a soundtrack waiting for a movie. By Scorsese. Coke-fuelled gangsters running through the streets of New York, pursued by helicopters. That’s what this track is. It’s a bright white rush.
I was going to ask the band some questions, get some bio, some quotes – but what for? All I want to do is play this again.
This EP is stunning and if you don’t buy it, play it loud and feel the bliss it brings, then you’re going to get left behind.
You want to be leaving with them.