The Wave Pictures create more Brushes With Happiness

The Wave Pictures - Brushes With HappinessThe Wave Pictures are one of the most quirky and fun three-piece bands around. Constantly pushing the boundaries of their witty, romantic, guitar-driven world, seldom a year has passed since 1998 that they haven’t put out a record, releasing a whopping 16 albums to date. This year they’re releasing two albums (again). Set for release via Moshi Moshi Records is Brushes With Happiness.

So, how do you push boundaries in a band? What about recording an album in one take, giving all the songs a minor key, and leaving everything but the lyrics to chance? That’s exactly what The Wave Pictures have done here: every song is a first take, and mostly material that drummer Jonny Helm and bass player Franic Rozycki had never heard before.

By recording live and in one take, the band are aiming to capture a spontaneous moment in time, rich in jazz, folk and blues; a real, warts-and-all style of recording, also championed by the likes of Bob Dylan and Neil Young. Few bands dare to attempt this these days; if they can pull it off, Brushes With Happiness will be a true testament to the musical bond they’ve cemented over the past ten years.

A couple of bars' introduction and the band are straight into it with opening track "The Red Suitcase". A simple, emotive, strung-out guitar lick challenges the relaxed mood and in the spaces between the jam, Jonny Helm’s creative style fits perfectly, always allowing him to offer more without overkill.

"Jim" is bluesy, harmonica howls intertwining with flamenco-style drumming. That’s the musical wonder with The Wave Pictures: they can intertwine styles, thanks not only to Dave Tattersall’s ridiculously talented guitar expressions that allow the rhythm section to join his explorations, but his understanding of the tones required to make his six-string sing sweetly. You can understand why Marc Riley calls him the greatest guitar player of his generation.

"Rise Up" and "The Burnt Match" parade joint vocal efforts, where light instrumentation hover in the background - violin and xylophone respectfully - as the band continue to push boundaries within their late-night jam extravaganza. The title track "Brushes With Happiness" is an ode to Helms' original style of drumming with brushes. It doesn’t take Tattersall long to explode with his unique style of playing, only dirtier, and those familiar with the band will rejoice as they revisit their heavier side.

As expected with such a raw offering, the formula doesn’t change greatly. Tattersall’s vocal is oddly adorable as ever; he croons his own unique way, spitting his poetic ideas, mixed with truth and stories. But getting high (Tattersall's confession) and getting to know your comrades more only excels this wonderfully creative band further and further.

Release: 22nd June 2o18, Moshi Moshi

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    1. The Wave Pictures create more Brushes With Happiness – Live List - 28/06/2018

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