The other month I wrote a story about how quite a surprising number of new bands had been plundering the, coughs, Status Quo songbook. Not the Quo of the faded flared denim and no nonsense boogie, but the Quo when they were a quirky psych pop act. Well this month’s unlikely psych prog influence are Curved Air whose music I keep hearing most notably in the recent albums from BBC 6 Music favourite Crystal Jacqueline and the lovely new song from Sara Lowes.
Again it isn’t Curved Air, the classical music fetishists whose key members are virtuosos on their instruments and like to let you know it. Rather it is the Curved Air of their second album – Back Street Luv and Stretch, whose songs have heavy keyboards, odd floating female vocals, unusual time signatures and clever use of analogue synths.
Just listen to the title track of Crystal Jacqueline Album Sun Arise and then play it back to back with the second Curved Air album and you’ll see where the west country psych chanteuse is coming from. The influence is also prominent in some of the other tracks from the album most notably Sun Arise’s finale Sundown which reminds me a little CA’s wonderful Screw.
Sun Arise is a really rather special work IMO and it is lovely to see it being issued on vinyl too.
Similarly the new single from Sara Lowes, Most Things also reminds me of Sonja Kristina and her band, in a less proggy way – well until the organ solo kicks in. It is an interesting move for Lowes whose great Back To Creation album kicks off with a great piece of Dexy’s influenced soul and has four or five really rather brilliant songs.
So who is next? Post Gabriel Genesis? I wouldn’t bet against it.