23/04/2018: Ex-Directory – Spector

This collection of tracks oozes out waves of nostalgia. I’m not sure how they’ve quite done it – the overall sound of a Spector track is so identifiable that even if you’ve never heard the track before it feels like you are being transported back in time to a Year 9 sports day where you’re having a water fight with your soon-to-be best friend.

‘Untitled in D’ beckons us into this EP very nicely. The opening verse exhibits a complimentary duo of front man Fred Macpherson’s soothing voice and a carefully concocted guitar pattern that is both beautifully intricate and also one that is memorable enough you can imagine crowds singing it back to them. By the time the chorus hits we are into full Spector swing: the high pitched screeching guitar riffs building layers underneath the vintage vocal melody which contains repeated motifs – classic Spector. The 80’s synth sounds in ‘Fine Not Fine’ is reminiscent of a slightly melancholy Madonna track. It’s also slightly melancholy in theme as well – probing and questioning male mental health. It doesn’t give the answer to solving any mental health issues, but vocalises in a simplistic way what many people are probably feeling. Something which can be reassuring to hear.

It’s clear to hear the intention of providing a more ‘real’ sound in comparison to their older work. This can be heard in ‘Local International’ which is produced similarly to how I imagine they would play it live as a 5-piece band – rather than elaborate atmospheric production. I think this gives it more energy and proves that this band can actually play and write just down to earth good music, rather than relying on edgy production techniques.

The lyrics which stuck with me from ‘Wild Guess’ was ‘Licking the side of a cigarette before it’s lit, The realest hearts take the hardest hits’. Just goes to show how you can make a beautiful lyric out of a fairly mundane task, probably because it sends you flying back to somewhere. ‘Don’t ask me who I’m trying to impress’ probably sums up this entire EP, you can hear that this is just the music that Spector wanted to make and didn’t really care about if it sounded similar or different to their older work. It just became what it wanted to be.

Listen here:



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