Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wrapping Up Fresh Fruits

As previously mentioned here on BHT, the U.K.-based Fruits de Mer Records recently released a new batch of seven-inch singles on colored vinyl. (I reviewed Crystal Jacqueline on 2-18 and Bronco Frog on 2-20 last week.) Here’s a quick rundown on the remaining three singles.

Us and Them contributed an ethereal reading of “Butterfly” to the various artists compilation Re-Evolution: FDM Sings The Hollies, and apparently this Scandinavian duo has been on the label’s radar for some time. For their new single, Us and Them offer a beautiful version of Sandy Denny’s “By The Time It Gets Dark.” Lead singer Britt Rönnholm’s classic folk singer vocals are set to Anders Håkanson’s beguiling guitar and keyboards arrangement. Us and Them bring an authentic medieval ambience to “Jabberwocky,” Donovan’s reworking of the Lewis Carroll poem, and impress with the haunting vocals and atmosphere of their own composition, “Do I Know You.”

The American band Schizo Fun Addict takes a cinematic approach on its single by tackling the theme from the Italian cult horror movie Suspiria, along with a cover of “In The Long Run,” from Russ Meyer’s Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls flick. “Suspiria” is mostly instrumental, with the exception of female vocalist Jane (couldn’t find a last name) singing “la la la” over a marching drumbeat and bubbling synthesizers. The band, led by musician/filmmaker Jet Wintzer, gives “In The Long Run” a breezy mid-1960s feel via horns and Jane’s interwoven vocals.

The British band Schnauser taps into some of its major influences with adventurous covers of “Astral Traveler” from the Time And A Word LP by Yes, and “As Long As He Lies Perfectly Still” from Soft Machine’s Volume Two release. On its version of “Astral Traveler,” Schnauser brews up a funky and psychedelic vibe with percussion that evokes Santana. “As Long As He Lies Perfectly Still” is an imaginative prog rock gem with an extended instrumental break.  


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