Anthropology student, wonderfully monikered, very talented musician - it seems Cosmo Sheldrake has got it goin’ on. The Much Much How How And I is his debut album, the sound of which is influenced by the classic ‘60s pop of The Beatles and The Kinks along with the diverse classical compositions of Igor Stravinsky and the avant-garde musical stylings of Moondog, his university career, a trip to New Orleans and his interest in how people make music. LP and CD on Transgressive.
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I'm pretty obsessed with this one track on the debut album from this Very Clever Man. It's called 'Wriggle' and it's a singalong sea shanty which starts off all Moondog before bursting into one of those choruses that whilst catchy keeps reminding me of Spitting Image's 'The Chicken Song'. It's one of those songs that tells you to do things. It tells me to 'put a pickle on', 'count to 21', 'right a wrong' and most preposterously 'feed a pelican'. I mean where do you find one....on a Thursday...in Holbeck?
Unable to leave the album behind to go and feed said pelican I'm instead forced to listen to the wandering oboes and juddering orchestral rhythms of the rest of the thing. It's one of those albums that I'm really admiring for it's cleverness but at the same time I'm not enjoying it. There are plenty of traces of Animal Collective's vibrant tropical pop and Alt J's brainy songcraft within these songs all short through with a kind of knees up music hall joe de vivre. On 'Come Along' he advises me to 'catch a heffalump' but the only advice I'd have listened to would have been if he'd suggested 'turn the record' off. Which is exactly what happened when we played it in the office earlier. For all it's clever musicality it's a hard record to connect with especially when advice is constantly being dished out.
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- The Much Much How How and I by Cosmo Sheldrake
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