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The Procession - Musique Magnifique

The Procession, Musique Magnifique

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

THE Procession are an LA based outfit who specialise in songs that combine the power pop of the early ’70s with the friendly harmonic style of the ’60s.

As such, they fall somewhere between UK indie-pop rockers The Feeling, retro ’70s standard-bearers Supertramp and their US countrymates The Shins.

They’re comprised of J Paul Zawacki (lead vocals, piano), John F Shreffler Jr (guitar, keyboards), and Greg Jong (bass) and they’re very hard to dislike, courtesy of their infectious, breezy style.

The feel-good quality of their songwriting was best exemplified by the release earlier this year of Don’t Let Go, an utterly breezy slice of Beatles-influenced indie-pop that boasts some excellent guitar work and fine vocal melodies – rather like listening to The Bees or The Shins in their prime.

The guitar work hooked you in from the outset, while the hopelessly catchy chorus was terrific for singing along to.

That track also came with the B-side Don’t Hesitate, a similarly disarming blend of kooky beats and lively piano chords that show just how musically rich their music is.

Both songs appear on the debut album Musique Magnifique, a disarming experience that just keeps getting better with each listen.

Further highlights come in the form of MTV Song, a nice blend of guitar licks, hammond organs and vocal harmonies copied right out of The Shins and The Beach Boys’ copybooks.

Living Alone, another melody-strewn blend of retro riffs and easy listening vocals that even dare to hint at the style of American bands such as They Might Be Giants – not least when Zawacki attempts to speed his delivery up to squeeze as many words out as possible.

Major And Minor is pure ’70s kitsch – as breezy, hopeful and organ-laden as any of Supertramp’s best known tracks (or The Feelings acute sense of hopefulness).

But Sandra tip-toes into slightly more pensive territory, tapping into romantic disillusion and showcasing a slightly more serious and tender side to the band.

And final track Don’t You Wish brings things to a totally enchanting close, once again sending out a rallying call to anyone who currently gets their musical jollies from having “just discovered The Shins”.

Trust us, Zach Braff is probably adding The Procession to his MySpace recommendations as we speak. If you like his taste, then you’re certain to dig them. We do!

Download picks: Don’t Let Go, Don’t Hesitate, Don’t You Wish, Sandra, MTV Song, Living Alone

Track listing:

  1. The Moment
  2. Major And Minor
  3. Don’t Let Go
  4. MTV Song (No Relation)
  5. Living Alone
  6. Sandra
  7. Don’t Hesitate
  8. I Want A Golden Light
  9. In The Least
  10. Don’t You Wish