We Show Up On Radar is a playful project, by a fella named Andy Wright. Folk-pop is his vibe, and on tracks like ‘Giant Dinosaur vs Sea Monster’ and ‘Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes (Part 1)’ he whips up a storm of bright lyrics and lively performativity. Zanzibar Whip Corals is released by Fika.
Vinyl LP £14.49 FIKA071LP
Transparent yellow vinyl LP on Fika.
- Shipping cost: £3.35 ?
- Coloured vinyl
- Includes download code
Yep, if you hadn’t already guessed by the strange nomenclature above, this is weird album. This is alt-pop strangeness that would make Wayne Coyne feel like Dido (well, maybe not that strange). We Show Up On Radar is the alias of Andy Wright, a Nottingham-based artist, who is releasing his second album ‘Zanzibar Whip Coral’ through Fika Records. Before doing any research on WSUOR, I had assumed he was some Californian hippie but it turns out he’s from Nottingham which definitely plays into the English sounding melancholy that percolates into the music. There’s a quality to WSUOR’s voice that I really like, it almost reminds me of Gaz Coombs at his most lilting and whimsical.
To put this odd little album in context, artists that it reminds me of are Mort Garson, Flaming Lips, the Beach Boys in some parts (just listen to the harmonies on ‘Willow Tree’), and Daniel Johnston. ‘Heads, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes (Part 2)’ has a tape-recording effect that makes him sound eerily like Johnston in one of his home-recordings, indeed, this is an element that I think WSUOR could make more of in upcoming releases. I prefer the album’s scratchy, lo-fi moments to its glossy, poppy parts.
There are some genuinely heart-felt moments on this album that bely the often quaint music of ‘Zanzibar Whip Coral’, such as the huge, triumphant-yet-sad chord changes on ‘Giant Dinosaur vs Sea Monster’ or the beautiful sample on ‘Crumbs for Erin’. The piano line on ‘A Theogony’ reminds me of a Disney song or an old showtune which is an impressive thing to have achieved.
‘Zanzibar Whip Coral’ is a strange, kaleidoscopic collage of wistful vocals, nursery-rhyme melodies, Beach Boys harmonies, and bizarre imagery (yetis only eating lettuce, anybody?), all gathered up together to make nine songs of pop peculiarity.
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