The Mariner’s Children (solo), The Pretty Greens
847 N Third Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19123
This event is 21 and over
Choir of Echoes is an album about singing. Losing your voice and finding it again. Voices keeping each other company and voices competing for space. The call and response of the cruelest and the kindest of words. Choruses, duets, whispers and shouts. Emphatic double-tracks give way to solitary melodies and looped monosyllables take over from bittersweet shoo-bi-doos. All the while long-time drummer Olly Joyce remains both steady and gloriously disruptive and the guitars of front-women Rosa Slade and Katy Young grow ever louder and more hypnotic. With the assistance of producer Jimmy Robertson and bassist Ben Rubinstein (singer/guitarist, The Mariners Children) Peggy Sue recorded Choir of Echoes in the Winter of 2012 at residential studio Rockfield in Monmouth, Wales.
As well as touring Europe with Jack White, Joan As Policewoman and Wild Flag, Peggy Sue spent much of the year following the release of their second album, Acrobats, arranging and recording a Rock and Roll covers album inspired by the soundtrack of Kenneth Anger's cult movie Scorpio Rising. What began as a distraction became a sold out, hand made, self-released CD and a major influence on their third album proper. The process not only convinced the band that Robertson was their man (he produced the Peggy Sue play the songs of Scorpio Rising CD at his studio in Hackney) but re-confirmed a love and respect for the melancholy pop songs of 1950's and 60's. The band set about weaving their newly rediscovered doo-wop backing vocals through their grunge influenced post-folk.
A chorus of voices is built methodically, one at a time. Drums crunch. Guitars finish each other's sentences. Creeping surf melodies take over for a moment. Vocals clip and distort and morph into a pop song. A two minute long ballad. Clocks and electric heaters interrupt a love story. A girl gets dumped on the longest day of the year. A country song swims and comes up for air. She plays a guitar like a bass. He plays the bass like a guitar. We are restless and we think too much. We sing songs to ghosts. We sing songs to ourselves in a room full of people.
The Mariner’s Children (solo)
Following on from their critically acclaimed New Moore Island EP, 7-piece band The Mariner’s Children return with a new work, Sycamore EP, as devastating and as poignantly beautiful as their last. Hinging on the themes of love and death, songwriter Benedict Rubinstein explores the relationships between these experiences and how both can distort logic.
“Sycamore came from a period when I’d gone to a lot of funerals in a very short space of time. I was thinking about death a lot but I was also in quite a good place in my life and very much in love, so felt quite able to write about the most terrifying thing from a pretty contented place. It’s not a happy song – it’s about everything ending and nature and time conquering all and there being nothing you can do about it but work to accept it – but it didn’t come from a place of despair. The track is about death, but it’s definitely a love song.”
The Mariner’s Children include members of Peggy Sue, Laura Marling, Sons of Noel and Adrian, Alessi’s Ark, and Eyes & No Eyes. Drawing inspiration from Chris Taylor’s (Grizzly Bear) approach to production, Angels of Light, and Pentangle amongst others, their music has at the same time all the immense instrumentation of Arcade Fire and the subtlety of the likes of Iron & Wine and Bonnie Prince Billy. Songs drift from sparse, delicate understatement to thunderous intensity in the blink of an eye. Lyrically, Benedict Rubinstein creates incredible confessional tales, often with an underlying darkness. “I’ve no wish to die, I’ve no wish to leave your side, but if I go before you then heed these words of mine- let my flesh feed the sycamore tree, in its arms you can climb if you ever feel you’re missing me.”
Sycamore was produced and recorded by Ian Grimble (The Manic Street Preachers, Beth Orton, Communion, etc) at two different studios – Rockfield (a converted stable), and 2khz (a converted church).
The Mariner’s Children are a rare find, who have been in no rush to launch themselves into the public domain.
Their return has been every bit worth the wait – prepare for the long player later in 2013.
“The Mariner’s Children’s first release roars with the hot-headed intensity of Arcade Fire, made brittle with tumultuous rage and regret” – NME
“Purveyors of lovingly crafted music with anthemic uplift and widescreen ambition…they create something – using accordions, mandolins, guitars and drums – with the visceral attack of rock and the rhythmic propulsion and thrilling momentum of dance.” – The Guardian
“Simply astonishing…exhilarating and devastating…a thrilling journey” – Q Magazine
“(New Moore Island) sets an impossibly high level of expectations of any future endeavours ..an intimate, poignant release that’s impressive in every way.” – The Line Of Best Fit
“The kind of rootsy folk you can’t help but fall hopelessly in love with” – The Fly
“This collection of truly striking songs will attract the respect of the industry and capture the hearts of the nation. You will not hear a more genuinely interesting, naturally distinctive and utterly innovative release this year; ‘New Moore Island’ is simply exceptional – 10/10″ – The Blue Walrus
The Pretty Greens
With a namesake inspired by British mod hit-makers The Jam, the four members of Philadelphia's The Pretty Greens knew they had something special upon first deciding to form a band. The group first came together in October of 2010, as a tribute to one of their favorite bands, The Go-Go's. In January 2011, Lust2Love played their first show at the tenth anniversary of Sara Sherr's monthly gig Sugar Town.
Over the last year, the band has been through several line-up changes but the core of the group have remained dedicated to their mission, dreaming of a time when they would write and perform their own material. Well, that day has come as the ladies move ahead from their Go-Go's tribute days into new territory, one filled with promise and a new conviction.
Don't worry, you'll still hear the hallmarks of what makes a great pop song: melody, harmony, vocals with a little reverb and edge….but reworked, to suit the girls' singular vision.
What can you expect….?
"A cross between The Go-Go's, Television, and The Troggs..."
- Scott V. (From the group Asteroid #4)
Dual girl vocals, surf-sounding melodies, intricate bass lines, shimmery cymbals, peppy drums - all peppered with cat-eye glasses, mini-skirts, bangs, headbands, glitter, and a whole lot of charm. Don't let the name and girly-image fool you, The Pretty Greens know their stuff!