After Young Marble Giants and Weekend, Alison Statton's third major contribution to proto indie were her collaborations with Spike. In fact the duo had already worked together in Weekend but this collaboration is somewhat lesser known. After a few years of doing normal family type stuff the duo have reconvened for further recordings. Anyone who has heard Statton's voice knows that it's a beautiful unique thing so it will be lovely to hear it again after all these years.
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If I could have married anyone in 1980 it would have probably been Alison Statton. I was just 9 at the time but I could have easily imagined myself turning up at the altar with my little bow tie on waiting for the blushing bride.
The Young Marble Giants singer has had an odd stop start career and I suspect that she just makes records when she wants to. Following the dissolution of Young Marble Giants she hooked up with a man called Spike in eclectic jazz poppers Weekend and after that Statton and Spike continued to make the odd record together. This one though is the first from the duo in 20 years and it's utterly no surprise that Statton's voice sounds exactly the same as it has always done. Opener 'Just Us Two' is a wonderfully quirky little thing with jazzy chords all over the place, weird electronics and Statton singing as if she is sitting in a sun lounge. It's utterly great. So good in fact that I am crushed when 'Open Portal' isn't more of the same - a much more straightforward piece this but this was always the nature of Weekend. You were never sure what you were going to get next and there were always skippable moments but you could forgive them because the good bits were so good.
The jazzy feel that Weekend had (and even more so their spin off band Working Week) is here in spades particularly on 'Scuttling Through' an absolute gorgeous thing with simple accompaniment, Statton's vocal just flies. It's gorgeous. Her voice is so soft and smooth still that it suits the quieter, more reflective material there. There's loads of quietly plucked nylon strung guitars, shades of cello set to bossa nova beats. They only really fall flat with their more realised material in which a Statton can get easily lost.
Lovely acoustic jazz inflected pop. Ageless and timeless.
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