Friday, February 2, 2018

Maelstrom: A Few Words About The New Album From The Cold Spells

The Cold Spells are dropping a new album today on Gare Du Nord Records. The record is the name of the band in Morse code so forgive me for not trying to type it out. Such an odd choice for a title seems to fit the deliberate obfuscation of the band's approach, a sort of skewed neo-folk that suggests acts like John Cale and Soft Machine.

If "Terry" is languid unease set atop a tune, then the superb "Wooden Horse" is like early James stuff, back when the band had a bit more mystery amid their brand of Manc-rock. Elsewhere, "Roll Me Over" rides a nice, rather gentle melody into territory once charted in the early years of The Lilac Time, while the eerie epic "The Ghosts Of Them What Didn't Make It" quietly lurches with a kind of carnival creepiness. Lots of what's here on the new one from The Cold Spells follows a similar trajectory, rendering the rather simple tunes imbued with an admirable and interesting undercurrent of British melancholia. Epic closer "Maelstrom" pulls everything together in a longer example of broken chamber pop, bits of Sixties-era acts jutting up with stuff one recalls from the new acoustic wave that swept through the realms of Britpop in the first year or two of this century.

The Cold Spells make unique music that sounds utterly unlike lots of what's being made these days. And if there are bits here that seem in debt to earlier sonic pioneers, at least the tunes are memorable in large ways, delivering quirky hooks and unsettling melodies consistently.

The Cold Spells by The Cold Spells is out today via Gare Du Nord Records.

More details on The Cold Spells via the band's official Facebook page.

[Photo: Uncredited band photo from Bandcamp]