Review by Jason Barnard
Important – great new band alert!!
After receiving a link to The White Kites Bandcamp site I gave “Love Doctor” a spin. “Hmmm” I thought, a jaunty pop-sike number with a Kevin Ayers style vocal, harpsichord with an an instantly catchy chorus and psych effects. “Lovely stuff!” I thought but who are these guys and surely their other tracks don’t cut the custard?
In fact they’re Polish based which is even more surprising. Singer Sean Palmer is originally from the the UK and they’re importing great pysch back over to the motherland, beating the Brits at what was their own game who packed up their paisley overcoats and mellotrons long ago.
Like The Beatles their “Love Doctor” single precedes a new album but doesn’t feature – and is no worse for it. The new album “Missing” is “a cycle of musical tales, encompassing constant themes in man’s search for something important – Love, Identity, Adventure, Soul Mates and New Lands”. The ornate album covers signals what’s in store: psych tied to music hall baroque and roll .
Kicking off with “Arrival” the song echoes a Blur Modern Life Is Rubbish out-take with a smidgen of Dukes of Stratosphear. “The Foreigner” is a piano led Brian Wilson style ballad with a vocal mirroring My Life Story’s Jake Shillingford – that’s a complement. These guys can play too – listen to that guitar middle eight. “Beyond the Furthest Star” is similarly gorgeous. ”Stowaway Sylvie” recalls July’s “Jolly Mary” and “Percival Buck” is also filtered through a pop-sike Britpop filter on these imaginary vignettes of life’s waifs and strays.
“Should You Wait For Me” presents a folksier sound – a psych Jethro Tull backed by The Zombies. “Turtle’s Back” and “When Will May Return” are rockier Syd Barrett-esque numbers. “Clown King” goes a bit more Court of King Crimson on the listener with lyrics wishing for a simple creative life. “The Missing” wouldn’t be out of place on Duke Special’s masterpiece “Songs from the Deep Forest” with its piano pop-orchestral feel. Finally, “Farewell” says goodbye to the cast we’ve met on this album brimming full of humorous character sketches and ballads with a Gilmour like solo on a Floydian ballad.
The album sounds great throughout, making the best analogue sounds in a modern setting. Simply the best release since Jacco Gardner. The psych scene welcomes with open arms The White Kites!