From the first notes of opening track "Seven Steps" we were hooked. After the 15 track run of Pious Fiction, we sighed and began again. From start to finish this album is superb. The artist is Julian Never, the current recording alias of Julian Elorduy (formerly drummer for MAYYORS and also helmed Fine Steps), who was joined by Mark Kaiser for this album. The foundation for these songs is jangling guitar pop, but sunny melodies are washed in sparkling synths calling to mind '80s New Romantics era hits. Julian's deep tenor is both soothing and commanding. While the entire album is a triumph, we especially like "Seven Steps", "High School", "Grassharp", "Step On" (oh, how we love this song), "Relax" (with a chug and strum that reminds us of New Zealand greats The Bats), and "The Fall". It is early in the year, but this is looking like a top 15 album to us.
Pious Fiction is available now via excellent Sacramento label Mt.St.Mtn and is distributed by Revolver USA and Cargo UK.