Red Sky July
Hauntingly Good Harmony Drenched British Americana.
I’ve never understood why some ‘major’ record labels choose keep music back from the public. Most artists I know are prolific songwriters and it’s only because of the shortage of money why they, themselves have to wait an inordinate time to go into the studio.
So now we are in the Internet age and worldwide ‘marketing budgets’ are out the window; it’s a joy that Red Sky July have recorded 5 brand new songs only a couple of months after the release of their last full album.
Opening track House of Cards is very much trademark Red Sky July with it’s rolling guitar; but the sparse arrangement and honeyed harmonies seem like a great leap forward to my ears. There’s more than a hint of ‘Folk’ to the arrangement rather than the Modern Country sound that we’ve come to expect; but that’s only an aside as the song is hauntingly beautiful
1972 Onwards is a lot more closer to The Truth and The Lie; as this semi-autobiographical of Shelly Poole’s teenage years takes us on a hypnotic sub-Fleetwood Mac journey, with the singer gliding in and out of her memories with the greatest of ease; and the line ‘I always wanted to be Amelia Earhart/without the never coming back part’ is a definite keeper.
Next up is Like My Man; a co-write with Kimmie Rhodes and Beth Nielsen Chapman backstage at Glastonbury….. fancy that? The song is worthy of all their combined talents and Ally McErlaine’s flimsy guitar playing in the background makes a very good song; outstanding.
Another song that made me think of Fleetwood Mac is the sublime title track Voyager; but think Stevie Nicks and Chrissie McVie singing over a Peter Green out-take. Yes; I know but it really is that good.
The short mini-album closes with the epic The Longest Time; which sadly; I can take or leave.
But…..even though I am new to Red Sky July What Are We Doing Here quite possibly could be the best song they’ve ever recorded. The crystal clear production brings out the very best in Shelly and Charity’s beautiful voices while McErlaine provides some subtly stinging guitar in the background.
What’s not to like?
Not the happiest songs you will ever hear; but when played late at night; preferably in a dark shadowy room these songs will fill all of your senses at once and force to to choose ‘auto-repeat’.
Released September 16th 2016