March 12, 2007

Soft Hearted Scientists

Soft Hearted Scientists

And now for something completely different…

You can imagine that being said any time the Soft Hearted Scientists are introduced, because they just are, I suppose. Among the instruments listed as playing on their site they have ‘Fruit Shaped Percussion’, ‘Massed Impulse Buy Broken Rusty Stringed Autoharp Sympathetic resonance’ and ‘Coaxing Percussive Purrs from Cats’. You may think they are joking, but a listen through to any of their studio recordings reveal they may be doing more than just taking you for a ride.

They are yet another band I’ve neglected to mention until now, but I’ve rather fortunately timed it right at this moment because new single, Siberia, arrives on shelves quite soon on April 2nd. It will be followed by an album proper as their previous long player, Uncanny Tales From The Everyday Undergrowth, was simply a collection of their first 3 EP’s.

Mount Palomar is the opening track from that collection and it’s a great entry point for listening to the band. Combining sonar sounds with a story that might just be about zombies and hot air balloons, or just about a mountain, it breaks off with a drum roll into a great chorus, before gently settling down again on whatever ground they were on.

I’ll Be Happy, I’ll Be Sleeping is a demo they posted earlier on last year that will appear in some renovated form on the new album. Gentle harpsichord swells break up acoustic pickings while the Scientists’ ruminate about what would happen if they existed in the seventeeth century, or it could be just about asking a girl out like most songs, I don’t know. I think it’s the only track ever that could possibly get away with the line: ‘If I hadn’t been burnt as a warlock, I doubt I would’ve succumbed to primitive dentistry.’

It’s all very soothing as acoustic music tends to be, but there’s something more going on here that breaks it apart. The endless experimentation with sounds means you’ll be lost for days listening to these songs and still find something new to pick out when the time comes around again.

And it will, I give Cubs honour on that (I never got to Scouts).

Listen to new single ‘Siberia’
Sound clips of every song
Soft Hearted Scientists – Mount Palomar MP3 Expired
Soft Hearted Scientists – I’ll Be Happy, I’ll Be Sleeping (demo) MP3 Expired

[buy Uncanny Tales From The Everyday Undergrowth]

I think I’m going to settle in to a Monday/Wednesday/Friday schedule after this, so feel free to intervene inbetween… I still have plenty to write about

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