Sunday, 20 April 2008

The end of summer on Bookbinder road – Cocoanut Groove (Phonic Kidnapping Records)

Oh my! This is amazing. Cocoanut Groove is the work of Olov Antonsson (yes, another talented Swede – bah!), his pop daydreams fleshed out into real live moments of exquisite beauty with the help of numerous musicians. With ‘The end of summer on Bookbinder road’ they have created an astonishing thing. It’s baroque pop with a big, teary sound and on first listen you’ll feel like you’ve known this song all your life, whilst wondering where it’s been all this time. There’s melancholic brass, gauzy flute, and best of all a harpsichord stretches sedately underneath the whole thing – this pleases me immensely. My ideal band (the one in my head) has a harpsichord.

The obvious band name to drop here is The Left Banke – masters of sweeping pop moments that sparkle like jewels and of course the finest harpsichord purveyors in the pop universe. But there are also hints of Saint Etienne’s soft pop side and The Young Tradition’s sugar-spun West Coast-isms.

Even the title is perfect, like the name of a lost children’s literary classic full of scratchy ‘50s line drawings and a fading two-colour print dust jacket.

B-side ‘Shadow’ is spare and a little bit folky. Olov’s regret-stained voice, gently plucked guitar strings and a spectral violin suggest ripples spreading quietly over the surface of a pond. The music perfectly complements the imagery of the lyrics, ‘the stillness of the afternoon’, ‘a hazy August sky’ and ‘ten dusty books on a dusty shelf’. Sounds like holding your breath and remembering.

Buy this record and play it on repeat right now:

1 comment:

Marianthi said...

You're so spot on about this. The a-side had me dancing around the front room on a Sunday morning. Such a familiar sound, yet its beauty catches you by surprise.