Gavin Mee “Meemantras”
Irish native Gavin Mee is a veteran songwriter-troubadour who put together this brilliant album with fellow songwriter/producer Duncan Maitland (Pugwash). Fans of Pugwash, XTC and all you Anglophiles should line up to get this one. The magical “Push The Boy” is a combo of dance hall piano and acoustic riffs that will win you over with its sweet “ooh-na-na” backing harmonies. Another gem is the very ELO meets Kinks “First Place” with its horn, piano and guitar flourishes.
There are so many musical touchpoints, you get can dizzy with it. The spacey melodic pop of “Mosquito Chick” has a variety of instruments, and tempos. Gavin’s vocal has a slight rasp, like Mark Oliver Everett (Eels) wandering through Pepperland on “Penny Farthing” and “Peace Maze.” Eventually it all makes its way back to these child-like folk melodies, without a wasted note. Like the musical equivalent of sweet buttery toast, you’ll want to revisit these songs daily. Highly Recommended.
Sonny and The Sunsets “Talent Night at the Ashram”
Sonny narrates these character studies on a vintage trip for fans of psyche-based indie pop. On “The Application,” the surreal LSD like echoing vocals are accompanied by solid bass lines and smooth Beach Boys styled harmonies. “Cheap Extensions” is both compelling and disorienting with its stream-of-conscious lyrics and new wave guitar riffs.
Originally planned as a movie, it turned into an album that resembles The Beta Band doing “Revolution #9.” The albums core is a 7 minute opus called “Happy Carrot Health Food Store” which takes off into Zappa-land midway through. It’s weirdness that secretly has catchy pop music hidden underneath, and that’s fine with me. You’ll still want to listen to this with headphones in a darkened room.