Guillemots
I Saw Such Things In My Sleep EP
2005
B+



caught a song on the radio, on Zane Lowe’s show of all places (good grief I can’t stand that idiot, why do people say I look like him?). The singer was on the phone, called Fyfe Dangerfield, which is a ridiculous thing to be called even if you’re in a band. I imagined it would either be bad emo or bad indie (emo is just indie with even more ennui and self-conscious scowling, right?) because that’s all I ever expect to hear when I’m driving home from football. So what was it? “I love you through sparks and shining dragons, I do”, sang the singer. wtf? this is quite good. And after a minute some drums came in and I was all like oooh oooh gotta buy this. So I got home and got online and googled the band name and went to a reputable online record shop and pre-ordered me a copy. And this morning it arrived, and it’s fucking lush.

The band was Guillemots (obviously) and the song was “Made-Up Love Song #43” and that song can be found on this, their debut EP. On that same website now third-party sellers are charging £25-£40 for a copy. The EP is in a digipak and comes with a photocopied piece of handwritten notepaper and a small piece of a photograph of a cat with a number written on the back (mine = “cd-0256”). There’s a picture of a cat on the cover too.

What I’m saying is that everything about this EP is so fucking indie it hurts. And normally I’d run a million miles from this stuff because it offends me, but this year there’s been Patrick Wolf and British Sea Power and even though I think Arcade Fire are only just OK I think maybe I’m either mellowing in my old age or else, just maybe, people with guitars are having better ideas and writing better songs than they have for a while. Perhaps it’s a reaction to Coldplay. Maybe it started with Deserter’s Songs and The Soft Bulletin and it’s taken a while to get through.

Anyway, four songs, 25 minutes, upbeat jazzy indie pop with occasional brass honks and a singer who can actually sing, really nicely recorded, dynamic but very personal, makes me not so irritated that The Delgados have split up and even though the last song is nine minutes long it’s OK because it’s not prog or boring ambient or [there’s no such thing as] experimental [music], it’s just a song that happens to go on for a while. I’ve played it about eight times in the last three hours (I also played the Polar Bear album and did some funky jazz dancing all on my own) and I’m not getting bored of it yet. The chorus on the second track really reminds me of Magical Mystery Tour-era McCartney. The whole EP is really good. I like it a lot. I really mean that. You might like it a lot too.


Reviewed by: Nick Southall
Reviewed on: 2005-09-07
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