I remember interviewing the Silver Columns up at Homegame this year and their combination of seriousness and playfulness struck me quite strongly. Whilst they came across as enjoying themselves hugely, and their approach to the songwriting process seemed light-hearted and not in any way precious, there was a definite undercurrent of something a little more focused there. They are not, in other words, just arsing around.
Generally, I don’t think discussion of their previous work is really applicable or relevant, but I think that if there is one area where it is actually appropriate to discuss the folkier background of Adem and Johnny it is this one: you know that the actual underlying songwriting is going to be of a certain standard, and we already know for sure that both guys know how to put together an album.
I am not always all that keen on electro-pop, and disco-related stuff generally doesn’t tickle my fancy all that much either, so I was not certain what I was going to make of this, to be honest. And true to form, by the time this album builds to its central climax – the brilliant Brow Beaten – I am just that: a little brow-beaten by the constant thud of the beats, despite loving songs like Cavalier.
The comedown after that track is palpable, and song like Columns and the brilliant Warm Welcome let you sink back into your seat and draw breath a little, before things kick back in with It Is Still You. The thing is, I still think of this particular style of music (little as I admittedly know about it) as being more about singles, EPs, remixes and one-off moments than actual albums. Even with this one, where I love a lot of the songs and I can clearly see the thought and effort that has gone into constructing a coherent record, it still feels a little bit like the right material delivered through the wrong medium.
Nevertheless, there is loads of stuff I love here, and plenty of these songs will be on compilations, playlists and in DJ sets for a very long time to come.
Silver Columns – Brow Beaten (Live at Homegame 2010)
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