Monday, August 14, 2017

Public Service Broadcasting - Every Valley

And now for something rather different.  Public Service Broadcasting is not, as the name suggests, a public broadcasting system.  Rather, it is an electronic, multimedia pop project spawned by a multi-instrumentalist/songwriter and drummer calling themselves J. Willgoose, Esq. and Wigglesworth, respectively.  What is different about the duo, other than their names, is that the vocals on their songs are spoken word clips provided by guest performers, interviews or samples extracted from educational films and old news reports (hence, 'public service broadcasting').  Their latest album is Every Valley, a concept album about the rise and demise of the coal industry in Wales.  They moved to Wales to research and record the album, and interviewed residents and historians.  Now this may all sound a bit strange, but the interesting thing is that it really is a very enjoyable album.  There is a reason that they have been chosen to open for the Rolling Stones, among others.  Whether you are happy in your own musical rut, or restlessly looking for something new, Every Valley deserves your ears.

The music on Every Valley is dynamic, expansive and propulsive.  The unusually rendered vocals are captivating, informative, and include interviews with residents of towns in Wales affected by the shut down of the coal mines.  And it isn't only relevant to the coal industry, as dying industries in other places and in other countries have had a significant impact on the regions and their inhabitants. The joy here is that Public Broadcasting Service make the story compelling and topical without losing sight of the need to entertain.  Their work is meticulously detailed and performed.  In addition to archival samples, additional guest vocals are provided by Tracyanne Campbell of Camera Obscura, James Dean Bradfield of Manic Street Preachers, and singer-actress Lisa Jen Brown, among others.

Every Valley is out now on vinyl, digital and CD formats via Play It Again Sam.

Play It Again Sam

No comments: