It’s a tough call.
But I don’t care if Best Ever’s bonkers twiddle-rock still splits my face in half on every listen. Or indeed that Gallop is probably the most exuberant song about aging that I’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing, makes humanity’s debilitating fear of ever-encroaching time sound like something to celebrate. Because the best thing about Everything Touching is still the way that it ends.
Murmurations, the song that closes Brighton-via-Cornwall bros Tall Ships‘ first full-length, is nine and a quarter minutes of slow-building arpeggios and percussive clatters, looped over a four-to-the-floor beat somewhere around 130bpm. A house beat. The whole thing ascends teasingly skyward until the 6-minute mark, whereupon it bursts everywhere in a glorious Technicolor splatter. There’s probably a choir in there. It’s one of the best approximations of actual dance music I’ve ever heard a band with guitars make.
So that album track Phosphorescence has been given a groovealicious redux by Deafkid – the duo partly responsible for the production on Peanut Butter and Melancholy Jam – makes perfect sense to me. The chaply-monikered Christopher Lockington and Florian Sauvaire (for it is they) haven’t opted for the total immersion approach – at the outset, they’re content to keep vocal lines front and centre, over a sparkling loop not exactly 12 parsecs from Tall Ships’ usual modus operandi. But from a minute in, Phosphorescence is reimagined as something slinking and soulful, driven by warm keys, a techy beat. The once-robust coda of the lolloping, bloopy original goes woozy on the back of some ket-addled synths, voices echoing mournfully through a tunnel of clicks and claps. It’s pretty great.
Tall Ships are playing at Concord 2 on May 18th (that’s next Saturday), as part of the Rock Sound showcase at The Great Escape. If anyone wants to buy me a ticket, that’d be swell.