Thursday, September 11, 2014
Old Mate - It Is What It Is
The second half of the album kicks-off with "Stressin" (video below), which is a somewhat jittery instrumental for 2:45, before the simple admonition that "Sally's stressin". Driven by Telfer's baritone, the following "Know What He Wants" has a vibe that hints at Nick Cave or the Velvet Underground. Like a ray of light, "Him" begins with a chorus of female and male voices, and continues the enigmatic refrain accompanied predominantly by a bass guitar, drum and occasional guitar strokes. The album ends with "Truth Boy". a strutting post-punk gem that builds and then recedes with deserved confidence.
That's it. Eight tracks, but a fair measure of running time. The tone is a bit sinister and decadent, owing only partially to Telfer's voice and the arrangements. The true skeleton of this record is astute songwriting. Telfer doesn't hit you in the head; he just lets the words and atmosphere seep into your skin. Lay out some cash for this album, and you'll be richer for it.
Originally a solo project, Telfer now relies on a group of 7-10 musicians to flesh out Old Mate. It is a credit to Telfer's vision and the players' discipline that the songs are focused and efficient, with no hint of competition for time or attention. It Is What It Is is out now via French label SDZ Records.
Bandcamp for album