Tugboat Captain are a 4-piece crew of friends and family who have spent the last few years recording, rehearsing and releasing music out of a terraced house in South London. ‘No Plans (For This Year)’ was released on June 26th 2020 as the first taste of their debut studio album, ‘Rut’, which is out later this year on Double A-Side Records.
Going by the track name, you’d be surprised to learn that ‘No Plans (For This Year)’ was written well over a year ago and recorded in 2019!! The fact that they did this is one of the things that attracted me to the track in the first place. How they managed to produce something so beautiful, yet eerily prescient of the times we are currently living in is beyond me. Just brilliant.
So what of the track? There is a lovely few seconds at the beginning where there is some great post punk/New Order bass throb. This then transforms into a St Peppers’ era Beatles esque brass led loveliness of the 4.18. The lyrics are delivered in a matter of fact way, but their tone is just lovely and the English language is projected in such a British way that it eventually ends up evoking Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd.
Gorgeous vocals aside, the whole song ebbs and flows and has moments of utter euphoria previously heard in bands like The Polyphonc Spree, and even The Flaming Lips at times. The brass section melds with the guitar distortion, piano and drums to create the utterly brilliant and life affirming wall of sound that this song exudes. Two thirds of the way through there is a gentle piano breakdown that eventually builds back up into the big sound that this band just revels in. In short, this song just puts a massive smile on your face, and is a welcome and positive sound at these unsettling and confusing times.
Review by Ioan Humphreys: twitter.com/ioan_humphreys
Watch Tugboat Captain’s live session performance at Balcony Festival here