Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Jolt From the Catenary Wires

Have I ever mentioned I adore Amelia Fletcher? If you're answering with a resounding "yes, at least 15 times... I get it already," then all I can do is thank you for being a regular and ask for your patience because the new mini album with Rob Pursey, her partner at home as well as on stage, is quite a statement, and you of the great ear would want to know all about that, right?

With the release of first single "Intravenous," we have had more than a month to take in the back-to-basics sound of the Cantenary Wires, and it has been quite a grower for me. So, while waiting for the eight tracks that comprise 'Red Red Skies,' I scoured the four corners of the Web for every tidbit on this new project. I learned after Tender Trap had been put to bed the couple got away from the scene and took the family to the far reaches of the countryside. Just for kicks, they began writing songs on a kid's acoustic guitar. In May 2014, when they were invited to take part in a concert celebrating the exhibit "Between Hello and Goodbye: The Secret World of Sarah Records" at Arnolfini Art Gallery in Bristol, the duo performed some of the new material for an unsuspecting and appreciative audience. There was quite a buzz, and the Cantenary Wires was born.

Tackling serious subjects is nothing new for these two. Remember the B-side "Hearts and Crosses" when they were in Heavenly? The thing is, you barely noticed these were sad songs because they were buried in the catchiest pop hooks you ever heard. This time around the melancholy has never been more palpable. When there are just two of you, there is nowhere to hide. This is especially true on "When You Walk Away." It's as if Fletcher is garnering all the strength she has to even get the words out. When she refers to all of the books, CDs and art given by her lover as "lying in a... pile," well, it's about the loneliest pause put on wax. This is, without a doubt, the most moving song I have heard this year, and let me tell you, there are a couple of other candidates on 'Red Red Skies' vying for that title.

Fans of their earlier work are going to be surprised, but pleasantly so, by the Catenary Wires. Amelia and Rob are indie pop's answer to Johnny and June, right down to the autoharp in a couple of places. Amelia has always been at the forefront, but Pursey isn't the guy in the back on bass this time around, and his vocal contributions are essential to making these songs work, much like when Calvin Johnson popped up on Heavenly songs in days of yore.

Earlier this week, to whet the appetite while waiting for that June 2 release date for 'Red Red Skies,' we were treated to a video for the satirical "Throw Another Love Song On The Fire." Enjoy that below while you decide the best way to preorder. Here in America, you can get the CD from Matinée Recordings. Also, the clear 10" vinyl is in limited supply from Darla Records. For those of you in Europe, it's best to go with Elfant Records.



4 comments:

Echorich said...

The Catenary Wires and Darling Buds are playing NYC Popfest next weekend!

Brian said...

Are you heading up, Echorich? I would love to take the 3,000 mile trek, as I imagine neither band will ever be closer, but I don't think it's going to happen. If you are around, the Catenary Wires will be doing an in-store performance at Rough Trade earlier in the week too.

Echorich said...

I'm afraid NYC isn't going to happen this summer. I stopped through for Mother's Day on my way back from Berlin and Prague, so my "dutiful son" quotient is quite high at the moment, but my my bank account is quite low...

Brian said...

Mrs. LTL is always willing to give up some of her many air miles, but I can't bring myself to do it. Kids change the equation.