Now And Blue Space Is Burning Noon

25th August 2023

Monorail Album of the Month

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Format Info

LP - Signed
Signed Copies

So here we are in the bum-end of summer, slow-dancing on the edges of the days as they draw in, watching the light wane and hanging on every word and strum by the group Now. And Blue Space Is Burning Noon is fizzing with fermented melodies, power trio jangle but the power is soft, the joy is real, the magic is forever.

Now (which is a genius name, of course) are a trio of West Coasters who cast spells in the way early Orange Juice do if Blue Aeroplanes were jamming in the rehearsal space next door. It’s a kind of ragged psychedelia they play, Rickenbacker guitars on fire at sunset, loosely Rock n Roll in a way that, somehow, manages to sound brand new, like Rock ’n’ Roll imagined by Cleaners From Venus when they got their first Chorus pedals. All these influences are buzzing about but the point in the map they all meet at is some lysergic postcode no one’s ever been to.  The band manage to spin out several rainbows of colour with minimal means; somehow this all is a result of guitars, bass, drums – meat and potatoes to most other bands but not Now. Main singer and lyric-writer Will Smith (last seen in Glasgow playing with Cindy) concocts a whole personal language, twisting metaphors and slamming words against each other with joyful aplomb like Soft Boys’ Robyn Hitchcock, but with a thoroughly winning lilt that can sound nasally acerbic in the best way. I can’t help but think of Edwyn Collins, Marc Bolan even in those affectations and I’m, as the parlance goes, here for it.

Wind Was has a brilliant vocal hook that falls and laughs over the band’s stomp, something like the band Rattray feels like they’re exhuming the 80s Psyche revival and treating those sounds with the love they deserve. The songs hang together so loosely they sometimes feel like they were written the hour before they went in to record which lends everything a lovely freshness that’s addictive. You know when bands are playing and you can feel they’re having fun and each musical idea is being rendered with such aplomb you’d think they were inventing it as they go? A patina of wishy washy gauze seems drawn across the whole record too, like these brilliant songs are all hiding behind a chiffon scarf daintily thrown onto the master tapes.

You can kind of tell they’re brainy too. Not like, smart-ass, but with enough cultural references and poetic flights of fancy to keep you digging through the songs and gauzy production to find out more. Early 20th Century mystic poet H.D., Cocteau (Jean?) probably way more references I don’t get but it doesn’t really matter. Gogo Boots 9am is just a brilliant name for a song, I don’t care what it means. On Practice With Elizabeth the myth-making is turned up again; who is Elizabeth? The crispy harmonies and synth dressing get turned up and you’re left wondering, yet again. What you do know is that these bunch of friends are having a brilliant time building their own weird world, with loose strands and bonkers imagery spilling out the seams and you just want to be let in. Like all the best groups you kind of don’t really know what’s going on but you love it. That’s what magic is, I guess.

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