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Dreaming Spires - Brothers in Brooklyn

  by Andy Cassidy

published: 15 / 8 / 2012

Dreaming Spires - Brothers in Brooklyn
Label: Clubhouse Records
Format: CD


Uplifting and retro-inspired debut album from Janice Long’s new favourite band , the Dreaming Spires

‘Brothers in Brooklyn’ is the debut album from Janice Long’s “new favourite band”, the Dreaming Spires. Partly recorded at the Oxford University Music Faculty, the album charmed me immediately with its retro vibe and its “Side one” and “Side two” track-listing. Opening track ‘Singing Sin City’ features a big Spector-style bass drum, pulsing through the Byrds-style jangling guitars and a tight two part harmony. The Dreaming Spires are clearly happy to acknowledge their inspirations, name-checking the Band and Teenage Fanclub, while the title is an allusion to the Flying Burrito Brothers’ ‘Sin City’. ‘Everything All the Time’ is a great little rocker and a great choice as the album’s lead single – it’s catchy, punchy and downright good fun. Lyrically the album got me on so many levels, and more than once I found myself smirking at the music geek in-jokes. Third track, ‘Not Every Song from the Sixties is a Classic’, particularly got me – the line “All the leaves are brown/And the skies are grey/Who wrote that song?” caught me off guard and forced a huge grin. Musically, too, the album is just perfect for summer – light and frothy without being glib or superficial. It’s one of those records that will always bring a smile to my face. “Side two” begins with the title track, ‘Brothers in Brooklyn’. The song reminded me of Graceland-era Paul Simon or, more recently, Vampire Weekend. With an insanely catchy hook, it’s a song that practically forces the listener to sing along. The album closes with ‘The Dream Inspires,’ a gorgeous little coda which made me think of the Flaming Lips at their most delicate. It’s 1:50 of bliss, and the perfect end to the album. I can’t say how much I enjoyed this album. As I listened to it, a rare ray of sunshine poured through my window (living in Scotland, sunshine is rare, even in summer) and I’m convinced that ‘Brothers in Brooklyn’ was responsible. As feel-good records go, this is right up there. If I had my way, it would be prescribed to misanthropes everywhere as an inspiration to rectify their ways.

Track Listing:-
1 Singing Sin City
2 Everything All the Time
3 Not Every Song from the Sixties Is a Classic
4 Look At the Stars (They're Really Out Tonight)
5 Laughing & Dancing
6 Cathie (Carry On)
7 Brothers in Brooklyn
8 Woman That You Are
9 Just Can't Keep This Feeling In
10 Strength of Strings
11 The Dream Inspires

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