Thursday, 16 May 2013

The Sound Of Antler - Them Bones

Album review by

When does arty, experimental, DIY pop music change from being quirky and interesting to being quirky and annoying? Some may argue that the dividing line between the two comes on this album from Joceline Colvert, AKA The Sound Of Antler. On debut album 'Them Bones' she aims for imagery of traditional British life: "sailors, pot-boiling teatime detectives, pensioners who should know better, Indian summers" and much more. These tales are partly inspired by the people she meets on the hospital wards where she works. Joceline honed her skills as a sound engineer for arts station Resonance FM. All we can say is that radio station must be a little... esoteric.

There are some very sweet, slightly quint folky indiepop numbers here, all kept very simplistic. 'Poirot' is quite lovely, the simple 'Cooper' is too, and likewise 'Smoke'. Other interesting tracks include the brass and accordion instrumental 'Niewe Tsorg' and the old-fashioned piano-led 'London Road' which includes a pensioner bemoaning the youth of today. At other points there are (what could loosely be termed) songs that will be the reserve of people looking for something a bit, let's just say, different. 'Fourteenth In Flames' sounds like a delightful song, but you can barely make it out as it seems to be played quietly in the distance, with perhaps a roaring campfire in between. You get more flames than music which could lead to the temptation to crank up the volume, and in turn lead to ear-splitting volume when the more conventionally recorded 'Yakuza' follows it.

'The Moore' is a brief intermission where radio static plays, again with faint vocals in the background; 'We'll Meet Again' is some random chatter from a tea party with some organ stuck on the end; 'Quiet Now' is little more than faintly interesting found-sounds; 'Love In The Old Folks Home' does just sound like someone pissing about with some instruments to make a somewhat comical song. All of which leads us to conclude that 'Them Bones' is an album that some may love, some may not give a second listen too (or even make it to the end) and others will choose to pick through the album and isolate the tunes they like. It's unquestionably an interesting listen, and one we're still not quite sure what to make of.

The Sound Of Antler's website

Stream or buy the album

Catch her live:

May 18 12 Bar Club, London, UK

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