Posts Tagged ‘Merge Records’

“He steals the whole show in his last dying scene…”

January 25, 2010

This weekend, WHTB has chiefly been listening to Spoon. And darned entertaining it has been as well.

The Texas-based four-piece began life as one of the many self-conscious, Pixies-lite outfits that floated around throughout the 90s. After one album on Matador, and a stint on Elektra that nearly destroyed the group as a whole, Spoon eventually moved to Merge Records and began incorporating elements of classic rock, Elvis Costello and 70s soul into their music, finally beginning to make something approaching critical and commercial headway with their album Kill The Moonlight.

2005’s Gimme Fiction and 2007’s Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga saw the band appropriate slow-burning funk and breezey AM rock influences into their sound. When gently whisked around Britt Daniel’s tense lyrics, occasionally sinister melodies and dissonant, Gang Of Four-esque guitars, these elements produce a sound that’s eerily familiar yet notably different to the rest of their contemporaries.

Daniel’s voice is a compelling instrument in itself, and serves as a convincing proponent for the notion of ‘soul’ as something intangible that you either got or you don’t got. It’s cracked, broken and raw, rather than smooth and powerful like, say Marvin Gaye, and yet it’s no less emotive for it. Put simply, it works.

Spoon’s new album Transference is out today, and WHTB is eagerly awaiting payday later in the week so he can rush out to get hold of a copy (as a gentlemanly sort, WHTB enjoys writing about himself in the third person).

Here’s some cheerier favourites from the last two albums:

Pretty special.