My wife’s best mate has suffered with a long term anxiety disorder and received therapy to learn ‘mindfulness’. The technique of giving your mind a rest by concentrating your mind purely on the moment, worked for her and is probably what people who do not suffer from such an illness, call thinking about something else.
This ‘something else’ is particularly applicable in these troubled times, where some sort of plague seems intent on worrying the shit out of us. Myself and my mate Shoey (one of my fellow Subjangle co-founders) had a little Twitter conversation the other day which intimated our shared current need to ‘just kind of be’ with beautiful unobtrusive music.
Enter one of my favourite recent ‘COVID worry panaceas, represented by the aural bliss of Gettin’ Dirty. This musical medicine is the fourth album by the C86 denizens that are the quite superb BMX Bandits, who for those that do not know are a Glaswegian guitar/indie pop band, that have been the purveyors of finest quirk laden pop since the late 80’s.
However, the true beauty of this album is that it somehow managed to round the corners of the quirk and concentrate on the merely beautiful, which effectively was a stunning new development in the band’s aural climate.
This stunning shift, may well have been due to the fact that for the first time the lusicious vocals of Duglas T Stewart were surrounded by an actual consistent band, rather replicating the trend of previous albums and utilizing various collectives of musicians to play on various tracks, which tended to result in both the glorious kink laden and filler in equal measures.
With the sound of a consistent band coursing through each track a much need uniformity acted as a unifying foundation. This backbone was undoubtedly solidified by the input of Teenage Fanclub‘s Francis McDonald, who penned most of the songs in conjunction with Stewart.
As such, in an album completely devoid of filler, wonderful tracks such as Rays of Golden, Baby I’m With You (see both below) best represent the manner in which this made in pop heaven duo wrap simple arrangements and luscious, melodic pop sensibilities around Stewars perfectly controlled and perfectly ‘slightly imperfect’ vocals.
Of course, to emphasize favourites in such a wondeful album, could be construed as somewhat churlish as even in this age of ‘mouseclick ADHD music listening’, this is still an album where optimal benefits are derived from experiencing the album as a whole.
If you have not done so yet add this to your selection of COVID musical meds. You will not regret it.