We all like a bit of melodica, don’t we?
Think of that curious, melancholic opening that hooked you instantly into New Order’s Love Vigilantes; the deliciously woozy feel it contributed to Gorillaz’ Clint Eastwood and to Cabinessence from The Beach Boys’ original Smile sessions. Think of how it helped those fine tracks by Augustus Pablo stand out from the reggae pack, inspiring Jon King of The Gang of Four to pick up the instrument too and use on that band’s incendiary early material. Think maybe best of all the wonderful way the instrument supplies a slightly eerie edge to Golden Years by David Bowie.
Steve Mason in his various bands and guises over the years has utilized the melodica repeatedly and it has made a comeback on his new album Meet The Humans. Back at the start of February I mentioned that if his third solo album approached the quality of Monkey Minds In The Devil’s Time then I was in for hours of happy listening.
It’s even better (and without the segues that became unnecessary for me after a few listens to Monkey Minds) and I seem to be playing Meet The Humans on a loop during any spare time I have and so was heartened to see that it went straight to numero uno in the Official Record Store Chart Top 40 last month, beating off some lesser talent known as Adele in the process.
This is Alive, the new single lifted from the album, which, in addition to referencing the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum (Well did you vote it all out/ or did you have your wee shout) also features the melodica and another instrument I love – the bongos. And we all love bongos too, don’t we?
Steve will be playing a number of festivals this summer including Electric Fields together with Primal Scream, White, C Duncan, Neon Waltz and Tuff Love.
For more information:
Leith based Posable Action Figures consist of Gareth Goodlad (vocals and guitar) and John Alexander (drums, samples, backing vocals). They cite a range of influences from Queens of the Stone Age through to doo-woppers The Ink Spots and this week they launched their debut E.P., produced by David Lloyd of Stillhound/Discopolis, which you can help yourself to free of charge here (email required).
Vic Galloway played one of the tracks, Mainline, on his BBC Radio Scotland show on Monday night and the guys have recently filmed and edited in a DIY stylee, a video for another E.P. track, Not at All, which you will hopefully enjoy: