Slow Changes is the debut LP from the new project of Bobby Wratten from Field Mice and Trembling Blue Stars, alongside one-time bandmates Michael Hiscock and Beth Arzy of former Sarah Records band Aberdeen. Expect a more ambient and experimental take on Wratten’s usual propensity for crafting delicate pop songs.
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- ER1193LP / Clear vinyl 10" mini-album on Elefant. Edition of 500 copies, Last ever copy but it has a split spine!
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Baaaaaawwwwwbbbyyys back! In news that pleases the two ageing, still anoraked indie kids who reside here at the towers -- dreaming of the days that they swooned to ‘Emma’s House’ and worshipping at the balding pate of Bob Wratten -- the former Field Mice man is back with a 10” on Elefant. The little tease -- I sorta guessed he just sat about doing nothing these days, spending his hours walking the labrador on Mitcham Common thinking back to when he and Michael ruled the world. But no -- he has been beavering away quietly on new music, and here it is.
Complete with former Aberdeen and Trembling Blue Stars siren Beth Arzy on ooohs and aaahs, and even more vitally, suave Field Mice bassist Michael Hiscock in tow, opener ‘Everyone Talks About the Weather‘ will appeal to anyone who loved his later Trembling Blue Stars project. This reminds me a lot of that band's debut single, ‘ABBA on the Jukebox‘, one of my favourite Wratten utterances to date. If you thought it was going to be all sighs and whispers then you’d better get prepared for the thumping drum beat that introduces ‘The Death of Silence’. This is classic Bob Wratten though, autumnal glistening semi-electronic indie pop full of regret. He keeps changing the name every few years but the blueprint is generally the same.
Overleaf the experimentation that was first shown on such Field Mice opuses as ‘Humblebee’ rears up with the backwards guitars and dislocated voices of ‘Interference’, which drifts into a kind of spooky synth piece. I wonder if Bobby has been listening to some John Carpenter and '70s synth music, as the following ‘Short Wave Music‘ and ‘Tonal Fade‘ show similar synth-based drifty composition techniques. So what you get is a song side and an experimental side, but the thing is that they are all good.
I'm so glad he’s still making music - the man is a master craftsman in his particular musical niche - and its so nice to see he and Michael are back working together. It certainly the feel good indie-pop story of 2015.
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