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Delays - Faded Seaside Glamour


Review: Jack Foley

FROM the opening, Jamaican-tinged steel drums of Wanderlust, you feel pretty sure that the debut album from Southampton's Delays is going to be something pretty special.

The feeling is confirmed moments later, as former singles, Nearer Than Heaven and Long Time Coming arrive to sweep you along on a tidal wave of indie-pop delight.

With Faded Seaside Glamour, the Delays have delivered everything they have so far promised, a lush, feel-good, daydream of a long-player, packed with memorable records that seem designed to make you feel happy and uplifted.

It's no mean feat, given the indie penchant for soul-searching and groaning, but here is an album that is spontaneously delightful, from the very first moment you hear it.

The Delays seem to have found the knack of catching listeners with simple, but oh-so-effective hooks, best emphasised by that mesmerising whistle at the start of Long Time Coming - the track which really helped them to break through.

Wanderlust does it with the steel drums and sublimely cheerful guitar rifts, while Hey Girl revists the cheerful indie jangles of the past, effortlessly evoking memories of The La's at their finest.

Throughout, though, the album possesses an identity of its own, which allows it to feel like something genuinely exciting.

Perhaps this is due to the band's unmistakeable vocal style, as I'm sure I cannot be alone into being fooled into thinking they were fronted by a woman when I first heard them.

Yet Greg Gilbert's cloud-busting falsetto vocals are a distinguishing feature, effortlessly entrancing, yet deeply sorrowful at certain points, such as the ballad, There's Water Here or Satellite's Lost.

While comparisons with Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks spring to mind during the totally upbeat likes of One Night Away and No Ending.

In spite of this, however, it is easy to get drunk on the Delays' jovial music-making, so much so that you will want to hear it all over again, as soon as it has finished.

Thank heaves, then, that the band put early, eye-liner clad performances behind them, for as Gilbert, himself, confesses, when the band first started out, it was like 'The La's without any finesse, played in a Manics' aggressive style', prior to the sumptuous West Coast harmonies and synth atmospherics that they now describe as their 'cathedral of sound'.

Faded Seaside Glamour is a cathedral well worth worshipping in.

Track listing:
1. Wanderlust
2. Nearer Than Heaven
3. Long Time Coming
4. Bedroom Scene
5. No Ending
6. You Wear The Sun
7. Hey Girl
8. Stay Where You Are
9. There's Water Here
10. Satellites Lost
11. One Night Away
12. On

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