8/10 Clinton Staff review, 09 January 2014
We have long been fans of Cocoanut Groove here at the towers so its to our utter delight that they have now signed to Fortuna Pop and dropped the big one so to speak. Its a good job their music is terrific as the photo’s of lead Groover Olov Antonsson could be enough to put you off on first glance. He’s now ditched the stripey jumper adorned on both previous records but has replaced it here with a Disney princesses bag and a bit of his hairy leg. Delve into the music though and its nothing if not attractive.
He peddles a gorgeous 60’s style of jangle pop that amalgamates the best bits of Belle and Sebastian. The Clientele, The Zombies and The Hollies into one intoxicating brew. Like the music of The Clientele, this seems to have been produced by sprinkling 60’s dust on it and although they come from the northern reaches of Sweden, they appear to have been dug up from Carnaby Street circa 1968. ‘The High Coast’ is pure late 60’s Zombies, Antonsson’s voice has the breathy delivery of Colin Blunstone whilst Mattias Malm prods the organ as if he is Rod Argent re-incarnated (if in fact Argent had died, which he of course hasn’t).
The album seems to be the result of a continued quest to create the perfect 60’s moment, ‘Fairweather Friend’ has all the requisite ingredients, gallic sounding melodies, parping trumpets, chiming guitars and if thats not enough its all topped off by a harpsichord. There are fewer of the melancholy moments which graced debut ‘Madelaine Street’, the title track off which saw me fall into a 60’s autumnal fug that lasted a month. Instead its resolutely upbeat throughout, yet with a gorgeous breathy sadness to the vocals giving that perfect late 60’s hazy melancholy.
Only closer ‘Night Walk’ slows the tempo and is justly a wonderfully evocative piece of music, like The Smiths re-badged as Ray Davies backing band circa ‘Waterloo Sunset’. It even name checks The Zombies. Influences worn on sleeve? Of course. But beautifully executed.
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