Given the dreadful things going on in the world at present, Fell’s new single ‘We Could Do Anything’ seems to come from a gentler time when cynicism had yet to be invented and this sunshine-infused pop that could have been taken from a dream sequence in an episode of the Monkees. The tight grouping of instruments gives the impression the band stood really close together when recording, with the picked guitar lines and blissful vocals swooping like an agile bird around kits rolls, fecund bass and lilting synth-strings.
Fell’s Nicolas Burrows says of the song “I wrote this quickly then I listened to a lot of XTC and that really seeped into the arrangement. The chorus has big echoes of the Velvet Underground’s ‘Who Loves the Sun’ doesn’t it? It might sound like some sort of post-pandemic anthem, but really, it’s about living in the future and not really achieving anything in the present – “mañana, mañana”.”
The song is sweet without being saccharine, mellow without being mushy and, brilliantly, this is a pop song you can eat between meals without spoiling your appetite; it’s also beautifully poetic and revels in its use of language. So, props to Nicolas Burrows for weaving in lines like ‘keep me supple my dear apothecarist’ and ‘sybaritically built, I wilt’. Just like Edwyn Collins at his best, this lyrical poetry rubs shoulders with the joy of repeated “Baa-ba-ba-ba-baa’s” that punctuate the chorus and join a rich history of nonsensical word-confection in music which includes such classics as “bop-showadaddy-waddy”, “doo-lang-doo-lang”, “sha-la-la-la”, “shoobie-doobie-do-wah”, and who can forgot Julian Cope’s classic ululation: “Up-bap-bap-bap-bap-bap-dubaduba- up-bap-bap-bap-bap-bap-dubaduba-wo-oh-uh-oh” in the track ‘When I Dream’.
‘We Could Do Anything’ is a breath of fresh air that blew away the misanthropic cobwebs of the week so I have high hopes that their forthcoming album Mallows Marsh could be the perfect antidote to the polarised shout-box that this year has been.
Fell are London-based artist, illustrator, guitarist, singer and songwriter Nicolas Burrows, together with bassist Jon Rulton (Bear Driver, Dream Giant), drummer Dav Shiel (Beth Jeans-Houghton & The Hooves of Destiny) and keys player Matt Giraudeau (Dogtanion)
SUN, OCT 30 @ PLEASE PLEASE YOU POP PARTY,
THE CRESCENT, YORK
THU, DEC 8 @ DREAMHOUSE RECORDS, LONDON (IN-STORE SHOW)
SAT, DEC 10 @ DAYLIGHT MUSIC, ST JOHN’S CHURCH, BETHNAL GREEN, LONDON
SUN, DEC 11 @ DAYLIGHT MUSIC: THE HOT TIN, FAVERSHAM
FRI, DEC 16 @ LOST MAP’S XMAS HUMBUG, THE OLD HAIRDRESSER’S, GLASGOW [TICKETS]
SAT, DEC 17 @ LOST MAP’S XMAS HUMBUG,
SUMMERHALL, EDINBURGH [TICKETS]
*sybaritic, adj. devoted to or marked by pleasure and luxury
Review by Paul F Cook