Formed by a former Orkney resident, Simon Tong from The Verve and the drummer from Paul McCartney’s Fireman project, Erland And The Carnival’s debut album is an intriguing prospect. Lead track Love Is A Killing Thing is a Fleet Foxes spiritual over The Cure’s 10:15 Saturday Night. There follows the mariachi fun of My Name Is Carnival and You Don’t Have To Be Lonely which mixes up an over earnest James with dance hall era Specials organ runs. Trouble In Mind reminds me of Laid era James, sublime sweet pop, sumptuous and caressing. Tramps And Hawkers fancies itself as an olde worlde tale, a new twist on trad folk. It almost achieves its goal, but falls a little short. Nice attempt though. The Derby Ram is something similar, a somewhat beardy and beery number, but lacking somewhat in authenticity. Was You Ever See is a calypso standoff, with some lovely beckoning keyboards and weird breaks. It’s very slight, but rather nice. The Sweeter The Girl The Harder I Fall is a Tim Booth lead sea shanty, while One Morning Fair is something a bit darker, still a tad like James, but swirling in the pits of despair, or on a queasy fairground ride. Gentle Gwen lifts her skirt to medieval times and shakes it round the dancefloor and The Echoing Green swirls away like a whirly gig to close proceedings.
Erland And The Carnival myspace is here