Saturday, 22 January 2011

Angels and Angles

Here's a cover of a great Decemberists song. You can download it and everything. Click the picture to play.

Review for Scratchcard Winner

By Cambridge student newspaper Varsity.

Here it is:

Fellow Cambridge student Zygmunt Day proclaims his New Year resolutions as:

1. Marry, or at least propose to, Laura Marling.

2. Try to stop myself from actually doing (1).

I would suggest that, failing (2), he:

3. Backs off because she’s mine.

4. Failing (3), makes sure she hears his music beforehand.

Hearing his music is particularly imperative because, even before I knew who tickles his musical (and other) fancies, I heard something of Noah and the Whale in this five-track folk-indie EP. For those who are not privy to the Laura Marling gossip, Noah and the Whale frontman Charlie Fink was Laura’s chosen ‘rambling man’ for some time: indeed, the album which made the band was a morose documentation of the end of their relationship. Zygmunt is Laura’s type then, and he should appeal to most people, with his collection of easy-on-the-ear yet not soullessly generic songs, recorded in a quality which, for a self-released EP, is hard to fault.

Scratchcard Winner opens in melodic form, with ‘Kids on the Corner’ featuring swelling cellos and violins alongside Zygmunt’s fashionably flat voice. Rich strings and elegiac vocals give way to an altogether livelier vibe, however, with the opening to ‘Tommy’ featuring a tempo, honky-tonk piano riff and rough drums which (like it or not) sound rather like a dated punk-indie pub band.

The remainder lies somewhere between these extremes, and lyrically becomes more engaging as the EP progresses. Female accompanying vocals render the hook of ‘Morning Rain’ particularly memorable, whilst the words “trying to choose between what’s right and a good night out” on ‘Temporary Saviour’ will ring true for any party-loving Cantabrigian. Zygmunt plays particularly well acoustically (there are some great tunes online), with the almost-hopeful title track serving as a strong example.

Despite occasionally walking over-trodden musical paths, Scratchcard Winneris a refreshing, well-instrumented EP from an all too rare Cambridge song-writing talent.


- Joban Thomas

Listen here:

Scratchcard Winner EP by Zygmunt Day

As soon as I made that post about Laura Marling, I knew, in some way, that it would come back to haunt me.

Still, not a bad review.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Recording 2011 Demos

Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.

- Proverbs 24:33-34 (King James Bible)

So anyway, we're getting straight back to recording demos. It's sounding pretty good! Also, the stuff we recorded in Cardiff will hopefully rear its ugly head soon enough.

Please note the new vocal deflector:

And the gold discs on the wall:

And also Sam's new jumper. Nice jumper, Sam!

Out of shot: bed of cocaine.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

New Year's Resolutions

1. Marry, or at least propose to, Laura Marling

2. Try to stop myself from actually doing (1)

3. Go on tour with The Shadow-Line, and have a ludicrous time

Scratchcard EP Launch at The Amble Inn, Dec 29th 2010

The Amble Inn was cosy and candlelit as we came in out of the misty night to set up for the gig. After shifting everything in from the cars we lifted out some furniture and put it round the back (leather armchairs are waterproof? Aren't they?), before making ourselves comfortable in the corner of the pub where all the bands and solo artists would be playing.

Unfortunately no one took any pictures of the gig, which is actually a good thing, because it means people were listening to the music. Also, on literally the first chord of the first song I swung my guitar up too high and smashed one of those lights, so it probably would have been too dark anyway.

Here is a picture of Ben Jacobs at the gig:

How the tables have turned, eh Benji?

Anyway, the music was great. We had sets from 8 Bit Heros, aka Jordan, who recorded the first few acts (recordings which will hopefully surface soon) who sounded great with a few classic covers. We had the live iteration of Peter Hai, playing epic instrumentals on piano and guitar. We had the first ever live solo set from Oliver Bissill, who plays bass in the Shadow-Line; playing what turned out to be complex acoustic songs with a strong ear for melody. We then had the inimitable Dom Pusey delivering the finest set I have yet seen him perform, with stuff like 2-finger tapping on an acoustic guitar and some impressive vocal acrobatics. After him were The Doubletakes, my brother's band, who unfortunately couldn't find a drummer for the gig but played a fine melodic set regardless. Thank you to everyone who played, to Sam, Joe and the bar staff at The Amble Inn for running things, and to all the people who came. It was a lot of fun, thanks for making it such a special night.