The International Writers Magazine: Music Review
Seaside Glamour - The Delays
is the way music should be made.'
is an album of sublime summery wistfulness from a Southampton
quartet. From this LP I'd say the Delays have perfected the art
of buoyant tracks through their high, otherworldly vocals (from
brothers Aaron and Greg Gilbert), punctuated by, at times, gravely,
plaintive cries and heightened by some jaunty guitar and infectious
beats (with many thanks to bassist Colin Fox and drummer Rowly
- like Madonna or Sting he only has the one name).
of a distant 60's meadow-spent summer remembered in soft focus, yet
with an undeniably contemporary twang (is it regret? Dreaming? Only
they know.). Somehow, this is the sound of the Delays. The word 'lovely'
was created for this sound, and in a good way. It is rare to hear music
that makes you feel like you're floating, and even rarer to feel that
when listening to male vocals within the context of a guitar-toting
band, but they do it with bells on.
Now, you may fear I'm talking about painfully saccharine tunes, but
Delays have an edge that rescues them from any accusations of
the sickly sweet. Just listen to the dark guitar strands of Stay
Where You Are.
Highlights include the steel-drum-esque splashes in Wanderlust,
the haunting vocals of Nearer than Heaven and the aching of No
Ending. A personal favourite is the almost Tubular Bells-esque piano
in the opening to Bedroom Scene. But maybe that's just me.
Faded Seaside Glamour is perfection as the album's title. Somehow
it captures the static, melancholic mood of certain seaside cities (for
them, Southampton, from my own experience, Southsea) - waiting for something
that isn't going to happen - and the dirt and grime of these places
is their edge.
Delays are certainly one to watch out for, and are far more remarkable
than label-mates The Strokes and The Libertines. Much
has been made in some reviews of their 'uncoolness', the way they ignore
what's trendy and get on with what they want to do. This isn't 'uncool';
this is what cool aspires to in the dull evenings of Coldplay-wannabes
and Strokes-emulators. This is the way music should be made. This album
may not better your life by paying the bills or giving you the number
of Mr/Miss Right, but it will put a blissful smile on your face while
you do all that other boring stuff. Buy it now and join me in hoping
that they tour again soon.
Oh, and extra points for the sleeve design: faded tea-tinged photos
and glossy neon orange. Bellissimo!
© Clare Sager Jan 2005
Clare is a journalist
with the Creative Writing Programme at Portsmouth University UK
all rights reserved