Tess Parks and Anton Newcombe. I Declare Nothing


In the early days of this blog I interviewed Tess Parks, a young singer and songwriter from Toronto who had just landed a deal with Alan McGee’s newly launched 359 Music, and during the interview when I inevitably asked her about the bands she most admired, Tess replied that along with Oasis, Dylan, The Rolling Stones and Spacemen 3, she loved The Brian Jonestown Massacre.

And now she has just released an album with Anton Newcombe from that band and very good it is too.

The sound of I Declare Nothing is lean and brooding but also dreamy and beautifully tender too and, although recorded in Anton Newcombe’s Berlin studio, many of the tracks conjure up images of desolate and dusty little saloon bars on the edge of the New Mexico desert surrounded by towering cactus trees and with perfect cerulean blue skies above.

There’s some great gauzy psych/shoegaze guitars and Tess’s always captivating vocals, while easily recognisable, are raspier than on Hot Blood and are now delivered with something of a melancholic mysteriousness, think somewhere between Patti Smith and Hope Sandoval of Mazzy Star.

On the minus side, so far the album as a whole strikes me as slightly samey at times although I am just familiarising myself with it and my thoughts on this might just change after a few more listens.

This is German Tangerine:

Tess and Anton will be playing Glasgow’s King Tut’s next Tuesday (14th July).

For more on Tess, click here.

For more on The Brian Jonestown Massacre, here’s yer link.
And now for some more Ontarians, well three Ontarians and one Scot.

Twenty five years ago I was asked if I fancied going along to see K.D. Lang at the King’s Theatre in Glasgow, the idea of which really didn’t excite me in the least.* Until, that is, I discovered that the support act for the show would be Five Guys Named Moe, a quartet actually, which consisted of Meg Lunney (vocals), Jonathan Evans (guitar and vocals), Tom McKay (bass) and Graeme Murray (drums).

To this day, I still don’t know that much about FGNM, only that they formed in Ottawa while young, relocated to London due to nearly all their influences being British bands and that they then somehow ended up making Glasgow their new base – where I would guess they met drummer Graeme, the sole Scot in the line-up.

From their self-titled album of 1990, this is Selfish Days:

* After a few beers I did rather enjoy K.D. though not as much as most in the auditorium that night. In fact, I was likely one of the few that thought Meg Lunney was actually a better singer.