When I became friends with Rob, one of the first things that came up was music. It just works that way with me, I guess. I am not saying that the topics of my conversations are limited, but food, wine, music and sports, especially hockey and college football, could keep me busy for quite a while. Okay, I can talk politics as well as the next guy, and I have been known to have an opinion… but food, wine and music… That is life right there.
Rob had an affinity for British Pop and we found common ground right away, and while were able to connect on a few bands, there were a few I had not heard of. He gave me Trashcan Sinatras, I gave him Teenage Fanclub.
He gave me Embrace and The Silencers, I gave him Peter Himmelman and later The Perishers and Thirteen Senses.
See the way this works? It’s awesome!
But there is one band that started all of this and is amongst his all-time favorites… and they put us both on a path of similar quests.
The Glasgow-based, band extraordinaire… The Pearlfishers (the brain child of frontman and songwriter David Scott), who also as of late plays with BMX Bandits (a highly influential Scottish band lead by Duglas T. Stewart and one that I need to explore!)
You know I love all kinds of music… but within the last few years, my love for British Pop has grown more than anything else.
The Pearlfishers are considered to be a Power Pop band, which basically means a heavy influence of 60s music from both American and British shores. Influences of The Beach Boys and Burt Bacharach are obvious in the lush orchestrations and musical styles. To me, a lot of this is what I call simply joyous music. It just makes you feel great when you listen. That does not mean the music is without mood or melancholy. I used to think that “Pop” music was defined only by the Bubble gum variety, which was way too cute and sickeningly sweet. But true pop music cuts across many styles… rock, alternative, etc. and is deep and rich, and far more than the fluff that too many write it off as.
Za Za’s Garden is where we started and I highly suggest taking this band in chronologically… Just because.
“Bedroom on the Seine” and especially “Living in a Foreign Country” are my favorites from this one and now tunes I hold near and dear… but the whole album is just a gorgeous, Gaelic-influenced musical delight.
The opener “Za Za’s Garden” is a short but haunting number that then leads into the mood changing accordion of “Saint Francis Songs.” Fantastic stuff. The next four songs will grab hold of you and not let up…
The rest of the album will take you on a great and varied journey well worth discovering. Sadly, this one is not an easy find anymore… it’s no longer on iTunes… so you may have to dig a little deeper… but your efforts will be well rewarded.