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"Warmy Girls"

Velvet Davenport – Warmy Girls
08 December 2010, 09:00 Written by Sam Lee

There can only be one explanation for it. Velvet Davenport’s Parker Sprout must have been beamed through time and space from the 1960s. How else could his music remain so unspoiled by modern evils? How else could he be so seemingly unaware of the dark, crumbling world he now inhabits?

Supposedly built around the stories of twelve separate characters, Warmy Girls is an upbeat and unabashed homage to 1960s guitar pop. The opening track ‘Mystery Michael’ shimmers with lo-fi Kinks-esque charm, while ‘Triangle Pear’ is more akin to The Beach Boys, with its intelligent melodies and gentle harmonies. This surf-pop vibe is continued by tracks such as the naive ‘Run Faster Lady’ (one of the album’s highlights) and ‘Bonny Brooks’. The latter sees Parker Sprout singing “Blonde hair, blue eyes, Bonny Brooks oo-ooh”, a line that could have come straight from Brian Wilson’s mouth. Parker’s knack for penning wryly unassuming lyrics is evident throughout the album, from the Andy Partridge-like “Michael, won’t you sing another of your clever rhymes?” (‘Mystery Michael’) to “Oh please would you squeeze me a grapefruit, I would like to drink some more juice // Today I listened to Abbey Road and thought that it was so great, the whole way through” (‘John Errand Hair’).

Elsewhere, Sprout’s psychedelic influences are more apparent. Following the eerie, serpentine organs and phased vocals that open ‘Mrs D’, Sprout tips his hat to Bowie by, ahem, ‘borrowing’ the riff from ‘The Man Who Sold The World’. Meanwhile, ‘Warmy Personal Routine’ sounds at times like a stoned Blue Oyster Cult, while both ‘Lovely Lady Lynn’ and ‘Green Life’ display elements of drone-rock, with the latter contrasting this perfectly with moments of pure bliss, as the track tiptoes into luscious pastoral pop territory.

Warmy Girls is a hazy, reverb-drenched burst of nostalgia. Although it might seem a bit scrappy (the album was crudely recorded on a four-track in Sprout’s apartment), underneath the simple facade all twelve tracks are perfectly formed pop songs. Each of the various influences complement each other to form a sun-dappled and timeless collection; a sanguine, smoke-shrouded soundtrack to endless wasted days. There’s not much warmy-er than that, is there?

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