Monday, July 27, 2009

AOTW: A**erisked with abandon

MeursaultPissing on Bonfires/Kissing With Tongues

Four-piece Meursault – loved by Mojo (which spelt their name wrong) and praised in The Scotsman – play six & twelve string acoustic guitars, five string banjo, tenor ukulele, accordian, upright piano, cajon, shaker, korg electribe samplers, korg synth, bowed electric guitar, autoharp, floor tom, snare – and circuit bending. If you read that list and think "folktronica", listen in – the beats are so programmed and prominent, and Neil Pennycook's voice strains so hard (without cracking), that the label doesn't really do them justice. Pennycook is also a fine songwriter, producing humane lyrics such as "the worry that you carry is another word for courage" in The Furnace. They've also thought about the pacing of the album – for example, the instrumental Statues of Strangers is a welcome breather in between Salt Pt.1 and The Furnace.

If I may be so bold as to recommend a couple of tracks, try four, the title track (also on my social CD) and eight, A Small Stretch of Land. The title track makes a combination of lamb-and-apricot perfection with Poke, by Frightened Rabbit, whom they’re supporting in Edinburgh on 18 August. Meursault are also playing a session for Marc Riley on 6 Music on 6 August.



Since Pissing On Bonfires/Kissing With Tongues was released last year, Meursault have released the Nothing Broke EP. This is the title track:



This is a live version of the penultimate track, William Henry Miller, Pt.1, played on a bandstand in Newcastle. The eccentric Miller lived in 18th-century Edinburgh and was rumoured to be a hermaphrodite. When he died, he asked to be buried face down, forty feet below the ground, so that when he ascended to heaven, he could see the souls of others burning in hell below. The story (his? hers?) makes for a beautiful song, though.

EDIT: Thanks Ed!



Neither the album nor the EP are on sale in the remaining high-street music chain, but you can buy it from Song By Toad, which helpfully puts the online store on the front page, or iTunes, which a**erisks the album with abandon.

37 comments:

shanes few kind words said...

Morning Garath
Great choice.. the Furnace is monster.. (where did that pop up from?) and yes it does work as an album .. a few kind words is a fave at the moment.

haven't listed to Nothing Broke yet.. will put it on shortly, only got these at the weekend, so early days yet.

(I've put my guesses of everyones reaction in an envelope.. lets see how well I do - I can't be the only one to play this game, can I?)

Blimpy said...

i LOVE the Meursault!!

blimpy said...

i agree with what shane said about "the furnace" sounding a teeny weeny bit REMish

Blimpy said...

"a small stretch of land" is another stand-out too, i concur

blimpy said...

i like that he nearly yodels at the end of "a small stretch of land"

ejaydee said...

I'll translate anonymous' instructions for you.
When you copy the embed code on youtube (there's also a little gear immediately on the right of the code), at the bottom of these options, you can choose the size of the video. In this case, 480x295 should do it.

Blimpy said...

i declare "the furnace" a pop classic - i can't get the melody out of my head!!

sane said...

too true Blimpy

GarethI said...

Ed, many thanks. Glad people are liking the album.

Chris said...

I'm still having broadband usage economy issues, so have only listened to segments, but I will try to remember to listen to it all when I can. The range and use of instrumentation is very impressive. Having the confidence to mix all the various elements together, exploring both light and shade, is something that I find very attractive. Good one!
(Anything you expected in the envelope, shane?)

Japanther said...

they sound great on paper, I don't suppose I could persuade anyone to drop a few tracks into Dropbox.....my internet is way too slow for Podbean and I spend so little time at home with the computer these days......

Anonymous said...

http://songbytoadrecords.com/2008/11/meursault-pissing-on-bonfireskissing-with-tongues/

tincanman said...

Really liked dirt and roses, small stretch of land and oh neighborhood. Sounds like they'd be awesome live.

There were times when I'd like them to ditch all the extraneous bleeps and blats. Makes them sound at times like Bon Iver hooked to life support beside a harbour.

But they do show why we at RR don't like Fleet Foxes, as magnificent as everyone else seems to think they are. They're just too precise, too perfect, too harmonius. Meursalt has the harmonies and the acoustics with just enough rough edges - like Crosby Stills and Nash once they added Neil Young.

tincanman said...

That would be the dirt and the roots.

ejaydee said...

But, but, I kinda like Fleet Foxes. They're a bit much over the course of an album, sure, but I'm fine with them.

tincanman said...

I think thats what I meant eJay. Don't you just wish for them to stumble or hiccup or something? Then you could listen to one more song.

Flores Hayes said...

oh I love pandas!
Here I bought a cuddly panda bag (L) that I can hardly put it down!
I believe it is a GREAT find for every panda fanatic!
hkpanda.freetzi.com
Flor
floreshayes@gmail.com

ejaydee said...

Maybe, Tin, it would be nice if they roughed it up a bit. You should try a band called Bagheera, it's got elements of Fleet Foxes and Grizzly Bear, even last.fm thinks so. Actually I may have got it from them.
http://www.rollogrady.com/bagheera-hollow-home-ep/

tincanman said...

Will do. Grizzly Bear is another band I've listened to and keep thinking, ok, nice but where's the beef?

Have you listened to matt pond PA's Deer Apartments?

ejaydee said...

No I haven't.
(I had to google it, suspecting it was a fake band name like Sugarshit)

nilpferd said...

I think I don't like this band for the same reason I don't like LCD Soundsystem- they are undoubtedly technically gifted and I admire their sonic range, but I find the music utterly soulless. This could have something to do with the production, which I think is extremely metallic.

Abahachi said...

Podbean seems to be having a bad day, so have only been able to listen to Nothing Broke, which I enjoyed, but - and I know this is going to get me lynched - I'm afraid his voice on that reminds me of Coldplay. On the basis of that one track, I would say wonderful music but maybe try a different style of singing - or alternatively try different song structure. Sorry.

ToffeeBoy said...

OK - I'm starting to get paranoid now. Did anyone else notice that panda post?

ToffeeBoy said...

Loved that William Henry Miller track - it seems that I rarely listen to anything these days that doesn't feature the banjo. I may have to buy myself one ...

GarethI said...

Japanther – there's some of the smaller songs on Dropbox.
Abahachi – no lynching. I can see what you mean, but there's a roughness to Neil's voice that I don't hear in Chris Martin.

Shoey said...

At the risk of looking a gift horse in the gob & being a pedantic git, the name of this thread is not "Some of the good bits from a recent album", or "Things Blimpy found in the attic" but "Album of the week". So we are supposed to get the whole thing to listen to, to see if it hangs together as a whole thing.

To this end, have tipped it into the tinbox. If a prediction of Flores Hayes' comment is in Shane's envelope, I will drink my own urine.

Veruca Salt = cool name
Meursault = suckage name (even if it is from a depressing French film)

Blimpy said...

I think it hangs together well as an album, with the smaller instrumental tracks linking things.

if it didn't have the f-ed up electronics on it and was more polished I think the emotional impact would be lessened.

Blimpy said...

Also, Song By Toad is a very good blog (and record label) - one the Spill has been linking to for over a year. Toad is doing a fab thing supporting the edinburgh music scene, cos god only know it's been shitey until relatively recently.

GarethI said...

Shoegazer, "the whole thing" was up on Podbean as the box was getting on full when I looked on Sunday, and it was taking my computer hours – yes, hours – to update the dropbox after a weekend when I wasn’t in, whereas Podbean takes me minutes. If it was doing that for me, I figured it might be the same for everyone else. The playlists and Youtubes worked fine for me at work and home (different browsers, different ISPs and different computers) and, it seems, others.

The next time, a simple “could you put in the dropbox?” would be more appreciated than “I’ll stick in dropbox because you didn’t”.

barbryn said...

My tinny laptop speakers aren't doing this justice, but I like it a lot. I know "Statues of Strangers" from somewhere - possibly it's cropped up on LastFM - they're definitely "Similar artists" to much of what I listen to at the moment. A bit Arcade Fire-y too...?

I won't hear anything against Fleet Foxes though. They are most absolutely my favourite and my best.

barbryn said...

D'oh, I meant The Furnace, not Statues of Strangers. Immense tune.

Flores, I quite like pandas too.

tincanman said...

barbryn said...

My tinny laptop speakers

wtf?

What's next, those tinny conservatives? those tinny red sauce packets you can't open? those tinny spiders? those tinny alien invaders? those tinny queue jumpers? those tinny bank charges?

saneshane said...

..those tinny estate agents, those tinny mortgage brokers, those tinny insurance salespeople....

...ahhhh,

I feel cleansed. thanks.

Shoey said...

Sorry Gareth - couldn't get Podbean to work at all. Thanks for the pick.

GarethI said...

No worries Shoey. I can Boxstr them over tonight and tomorrow and hopefully that'll work.

GarethI said...

I take it that was Shoey who's already put them up. Thanks!

Blimpy said...

he sounds most scots in the live video, or am i imagining things?