Elisa Randazzo, “Bruises And Butterflies”; Gayngs, “Relayted”

I haven’t done one of these round-ups for a while and, with a week of probable live reviews looking likely here, it seemed logical to mop up a couple of things this morning.

Trending Now

I haven’t done one of these round-ups for a while and, with a week of probable live reviews looking likely here, it seemed logical to mop up a couple of things this morning.



First up, Elisa Randazzo’s “Bruises And Butterflies”, an extremely pretty piece of folk-rock out of LA on Drag City. I guess the most obvious contemporary comparison to Randazzo and Aaron Robinson’s songs would be Espers, or perhaps Marissa Nadler. But Randazzo and Robinson go even further in assiduously recreating a certain rich, mellow early ‘70s aesthetic, drawing equally from Californian and British traditions.

One minute, then, you’re aligning Randazzo’s dreamy work with Linda Perhacs, or something more conventionally Canyons-ish, the next she seems to be channelling Mellow Candle or Trees. Perhaps, in fact, the British line just wins out, thanks to vocal and songwriting contributions from the once-elusive Bridget St John. A quick Wiki reveals intriguing lineage, in that Randazzo’s parents are Victoria Pike and Teddy Randazzo, songwriters whose work included (in Pike’s case) The Third Bardot’s killer garage-psych, “I’m Five Years Ahead Of My Time”. Nice record, regardless: check out “Circles” and “Colors” especially.

As, I think, is Gayngs’ “Relayted”, though I’ve been dithering a bit over this one, not least because the opener, “The Gaudy Side Of Town”, has something of George Michael about it. A collective centred around Ryan Olson from Minneapolis, Gayngs seem to be pitching themselves rather archly around an indie-rock transliteration of R&B and 10cc’s more aerated moments: a silvery cover of Godley & Creme’s “Cry” makes the latter most explicit.

There’s a suspicion that Gayngs aren’t quite as hip and clever as they think they are, but there’s still plenty to enjoy here: a sustained gaseous, occasionally dubbed-out atmosphere; the unmistakeable Justin Vernon floating in and out of the mix, evidently still finding ways to distract himself from the next Bon Iver; some unlikely affinities with equivalent ‘90s projects, probably featuring Shawn Smith (Pigeonhed, maybe?); and some neat songs, of which the relatively punchy “Faded High”, with its “We Are The Robots” synths, feels like the standout at the moment.

Advertisement

Latest Issue

Advertisement

Features

Advertisement