Just like lots of other folks in the blog world, we get sent lots of material that is still at the demo stage. It’s to be expected seeing as we tend to operate among the bottom layers of the underground music scene, so we expect a broad range of finishes to the work received. However, some is surprisingly polished and it just goes to show how much effort goes into new bands from the outset – something that’s required to get noticed, particularly by record labels, if you want any chance of being signed in a very competitive environment, where fewer and fewer punts are taken. It’s also fair to say that these productions are a sign of just how much can be achieved from a home studio with the right computer programs. The reason we mention all this is that today’s recommendation is indeed at the demo stage, but their music is aiming so high, that it will need a professional studio before it touches the sky that it’s stretching for. But make no mistake, even though we’ve caught them almost too early, the sky is where they’re headed.
Tim McIver and Rebecca Palin make up the new duo from Wales, called Golden Fable. They used to be known as the leading protagonists for the cult group known as Tim and Sam’s Tim and the Sam Band. The former band toured, playing many major festivals and they even managed to deliver an album, but we’re glad things have now moved on, as we think they held the Welsh record for worst band name in history. From September of last year they turned their skills to this new project and adopted the new moniker, which thankfully is actually perfectly tailored to their sound. Almost immediately they set about organising their debut single, The Chill Part 2, and set out on a tour in support of Brighton’s The Miserable Rich. The single politely introduced us to their ethereal pop sound which unfolds like a four minute fairytale.
Next month we get their follow up single, Always Golden, which is planned for a release on Full Of Joy Records on March 5th. It’s another example of their storytelling chamber pop, but we believe they’ve reached a new level, particularly with the vocals. This is for fans of Paper Crows, minus the over-sized granite basslines, or particularly The Good Natured, with their ice queen fantasy or allegorical woodland imagery. If The Good Natured’s Sarah Macintosh is the gothic empress of this genre, then Golden Fable’s Rebecca Palin is it’s white angel. Her high-pitched vocals are an absolute joy to the ear drums, shifting in key like a string orchestra. In fact strings are an integral part of the sound, like a lot of bands from this genre, from the childlike acoustic guitar plucks to the warming cellos that drift around Palin’s chorister mist. It’s a diaphanous whirlwind of gossamer layers that you couldn’t grasp if you reached out with both hands. Every layer is as light as vapor, resting on the notes like a butterfly on a leaf. It’s grown up and emotional, and always utterly gorgeous.
Other songs on the single, such as Blueprints, continue the attractive theatrics, whilst their cover of the Manic Street Preachers‘ tune, Motorcycle Emptiness is a warming triumph, like a folk choir were personally delivering it to your doorstep like a Christmas carol. They absolutely nail this brand of music, from the imagery, to the melancholy shadows that loom all over it, but because it’s so full of drama we can’t help but feel it deserves a bigger stage than the one it’s currently occupying. They’re touring the single in March to promote it and we’re convinced they’ll do their best to deliver what is an astonishing piece of work, but we’re also sure it will feel like it’s missing a string quartet and backing choir. It’s not particularly fair on them, as it’s virtually impossible for them to skip the smaller stages, but this is a show that’s more West End than school production. And speaking of production, they’ll also benefit, more than most, from a professional studio, who can bring in real strings and increase the scale of each tune. Should they ever achieve this kind of useful expansion then they won’t just touch the sky, they’ll truly take flight. (MB)
GOLDEN FABLE – BLUEPRINTS
GOLDEN FABLE – ALWAYS GOLDEN
GOLDEN FABLE – THE CHILL PART 2