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Skygreen Leopards - Gorgeous Johnny

  by Andrew Carver

published: 7 / 10 / 2009



Skygreen Leopards - Gorgeous Johnny
Label: Jagjaguwar
Format: CD

intro

Blissful and upbeat-sounding folk pop on latest album from former avant-garde experimentalists, Skygreen Leopards


The duo at the centre of Skygreen Leopards, founders Donovan Quinn and Glenn Donaldson, have a penchant for bucolic, off-the-cuff folk songs, preferably recorded out in an open field, and frequently detour into experimental, avant-garde and improv territory ... or at least they did. The impact of other projects, like Donaldson’s more “out-there” Jeweled Antler groups (Thuja, et al.) seems to have drained away, leaving a dozen concise folk-pop tunes, well-baked with California sunshine. Only on ‘Nine Car Train for Fremont’, a 20-second track that appears to be a live recording of a train announcer (possibly nine cars, bound for Fremont), does the band indulge in its old found sound habits. ‘Johnny’s Theme’ sets the stage with some Byrds’ style instrumental jangle; it’s followed by the breathy folk-pop of ‘Margery’, which with its downbeat thrum of acoustic guitars sounds like one of the Brian Jonestown Massacre’s more laidback offerings or a lo-fi Clientele tune. Margery also shows ups in the lyrics of ‘SGL’s, et al’, which sounds like it was recorded in one room on one microphone (this song also features an appearance by Magic Marker’s Elisa Ambroglio, although you wouldn’t suspect it from the song’s narcotic harmonies). The album’s titular protagonist also meanders through the album. Allegedly he’s an early, well-dressed member of the band who decamped to France who is not in fact named Johnny. Assuming the album is about him (not actually necessary), he must be a rather easy-going fellow, since apart from a romantic interlude with a Jehovah’s Witness he doesn’t seem to get up to much, or even explain when he does. “Oh Johnny, why can’t you say what you mean?” the band laments in the Dylanesque title track. A blissful, unschooled romp through the world of sunshine pop, “Gorgeous Johnny” is a treat best served to fans of bands like Saturday Looks Good to Me, the Elephant 6’s poppier bands and Jagjaguwar labelmates Monroe Mustang.



Track Listing:-
1 Johnny's Theme
2 Margery
3 Dixie Cups In The Dead Grass
4 SGL's Et Al
5 Can Go Back
6 Goodnight Anna
7 Johova Will Never Come
8 Gorgeous Johnny
9 Inland Towns
10 Nine Car Train For Fremont
11 Robber's Lace
12 If Our Love Fails
13 Paid By The Hour


Label Links:-
http://www.jagjaguwar.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Jagjaguwar
https://plus.google.com/+jagjaguwarinc/posts
https://twitter.com/jagjaguwar
http://jagjaguwarinc.tumblr.com/
https://www.youtube.com/user/SecretlyJag



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