Monday, March 23, 2009

Replica Sun Machine

My latest music obsession goes by the name of The Shortwave Set. The trio of Andrew Pettitt (vocals, guitar), Ulrika Bjorsne (vocals, guitar) and David Farrell (samples, decks) formed in 2003 in London. The two Brits and a Swede released their debut album The Debt Collection in 2005 and caught the ear of Danger Mouse, who called them one of his fave acts. He asked them to open for Gnarls Barkley, and they also toured with Goldfrapp and Rilo Kiley. Last year they decamped to California to record the follow up with Danger Mouse at the controls.

The Shortwave Set - No Social
The Shortwave Set - Glitches'N'Bugs
The resulting album is Replica Sun Machine which came out last year in Europe on Wall of Sound and finally gets a US release tomorrow. It is a glorious synthesis of styles - British psychedelia and pop with a dash of Gallic old school cool, drenched in California sunshine. Several notable collaborators help out - John Cale plays viola and Van Dyke Parks handles the beautiful string arrangements. Opener Harmonia reminds me of Pink Floyd - big time. That is followed by the fuzzed out pop of Glitches'n'Bugs which has a poptastic chorus. Andrew and Ulrika share vocal duties and harmonize on most songs, and they really compliment each other. There are pastoral moments that remind one of Goldfrapp. There is a quirkiness and electronic edge that reminds me a bit of Add N To X. I hear Gainsbourg and the Flaming Lips. Danger Mouse has shown a knack for producing psychedelic gems, and this record is no exception. It is full of cool headphone moments. I'm hooked on it's sunny charm and spiky hooks and can't stop playing it. SIART highly recommends!

1 comment:

The Green Shroud said...

Hey Michael, can we send you a promo copy of our album? Downtempo/jazzy stuff, with influences ranging from Serge Gainsbourg to Miles Davis and Arthur Lyman. You can check out a couple of tracks at www.myspace.com/thegreenshroud

Nice blog here, we like it very much.