Spectrals, UK surf rock

Jade French

spectrals

Spectral. Via.

Even though Spectrals drifts into that hazy scene carved by Beach Fossils, this is a definite English spin on an American theme. This kid doesn’t live on Florida beaches or under the Texan sun, he lives in the monochrome industrial world of Wakefield, Yorkshire. The industrial revolutions spawned dour-tinged next-door neighbours the Smiths and the drug infused partying of Happy Mondays. Now there is a spark of sunshine peaking through the Pennine peaks. Spectrals evokes a happier time than his setting would suppose, and with a tinge of his accent drifting through the lazy strum of guitar, this one man show holds the bedroom scene at his feet.

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7th Date” takes the indie heroes of the past on a blissful meander through a winter morning. “Leave Me Be” has all the 60s psych fun of a Dum Dum Girl retrofitted into the body of a beach boy. The guitar riff, stripped down and distorted, simmers over the monosyllabic vocal. Yeah, the lyrics aren’t apocalyptic diatribes or love drenched odes- in fact there isn’t much variation throughout the choruses, but that's the charm. “Peppermint” daytrips with jangly guitar and fuzzy Pete-Doherty-in-a-good-way vocals letting its sunny haze dance around unembarrassed. This is music which doesn’t pretend to be plunging into the depths of seriousness- in fact I’m pretty sure there is a Beyoncé reference lurking around (“Now I’m going to put a ring on it / Whose fault is that?”). At least I pray there is, as who doesn’t love a bit of Sasha Fierce?

Spectrals is the perfect name for this one man band. Beneath the English hills-spun medleys rolls a sweet take on a timely theme. The naïvety of emotion are actually what gives these songs depth, while the mature musical influences deftly light a nostalgia that beams ghostly heads into the future.

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