By Various Artists
A couple of names lately added to the ranks of Leeds acoustic singer-songwriterdom. The whole thing - quite deliberately a disc of two halves - begins with Paul Marshall's songs following a bass-and-snare drumbeat that gives way to some pleasing guitar-picking in a slightly hasty style for 'Oh Napoleon'. If the most ambitious song is the perhaps menacingly-titled 'They Look Like Good Strong Hands Don't They ' then the most distinguished is 'The Pharmacy Lights' a Nick Drake-ish ballad with occasional light touches of female backing vocal. Paul's voice is more fully active here, having opened the album not sounding quite assertive enough to join forces with the instruments; better balance comes after that, as do gathering tone and range.
There has to be a story behind using the name of a type of recording medium as a stage name for a female vocalist, but it's not given here. Tascam Tapes' half of this split CD has a passage of keyboard intro, maybe to match the earlier drums, and of the five songs three have lyrics starting with the word 'I' sung on much the same note. Her section opens with a number that does restrain 'I' till word three but then is pretty emphatic with it when it comes. Tascam's voice as we have it here is viable rather than stirring, and with her part of the album there is the feel of music that might be well placed as film background or soundtrack.
2 bands associated with this article.
Requested personally by Swedish post-rock wonders 'Jeniferever' to be thier tour support, expect lush finger picked melodies ghosting underneath fragile vocal lines that place him somewhere between Nick Drake, Iron and Wine and Red House Painters.