|Is it ever really summer without a Manchester band contributing some musical output? Probably not, and this debut from Golden Glow will put an extra bit of sparkle on the sunshine.|
Despite his Caribbean roots, Pierre Hall – naming himself Golden Glow after a Felt song – sounds like an unholy mix of the two Ians (Curtis and Brown), as well as having the sonorous timbre of Faithless’ Maxi Jazz. Musically, the template is equally as clear: mid-90s indie-pop, freshened with slabs of shoe-gazy guitar, layering the jingle over the jangle. This belies the dark story behind the making of this record – Pierre was in a serious car accident, and the songs here were recorded while he was house-bound. It shows on tracks like ‘On My Own’, a dignified statement of independence which veers towards the introspective.
This melange doesn’t always work. ‘All Time’, for instance, is almost a carbon-copy of Pete Doherty’s ‘For Lovers’ and not helped by Hall’s hero-worshipping black and white Myspace video of himself wandering around Montmartre (although his other home videos are sweet and affecting). At other times, like on ‘Books’ – surely the most over-used song title this decade – the sound slips into a generic indie chug.
When ‘Tender…’ overcomes these urges, though, it can really grab the listener, and this is also due to the fraught creative process. Hall took demos of these songs to his record company and was urged, in no uncertain terms, to leave them untouched for release. The songs that we hear are full of interesting gaps and places where the ears expect a fill or denser sound. Stand-out songs ‘Adore Me’ and ‘At a Loss’ are ramshackle jams of the most endearing quality, with an immediacy made for the nights they describe. - Bowlegs