“A split release of jaunty confidence and empathy. It’s worth buying a turntable just to hear this.”
Matt Golding, The Fly
“intriguing melodies and playful composition… highly alluring.”
Track Of The Day 15/12/09, Q Magazine
“Gentle finger picked guitar and stream of conscious lyrics.. like a late night busker serenading the drunks staggering their way home… Get it for the Indie kid in your life.”
Singles Round-up 14/12/09, Clash Music
“a strange, yet fantastic collaboration”
Will Slater, The 405
Itinerant bum, romantic, and songwriting-genius-in-rags Lonely Joe Parker stumbled on a brilliant idea when he made it back to the UK last year, fresh from a busking tour of the eastern US seaboard. A planned tour following the Obama campaign trail had threatened to derail when a robbery in Miami left him penniless with 1000 miles to home.
But down on his luck amid the squalour and splendour of an American election, he sat down with a $20 pawnshop guitar and wrote a new clutch of songs inspired by his surroundings. Motivated by the chink of change in commuters’ pockets, he dug deep into americana, conceieving a twisted soundtrack to his predicament that took Tom Waits-ian observation and St. Vincent or Feist’s sonic vision, blended with a streets-eye view of the USA. The songs earnt their creator enough change to make it up to NYC, where gigs in the East Village and Williamsburg followed.
Back in the UK he began to wonder why the songs that had earnt his own keep couldn’t help others too. Hitting the buffers in the docklands of his native Southampton, he ran into guitarist and songsmith Jackie Paper – better known as David Miatt – himself taking time to decompress with a raft of misfit songs written following a hectic six months with his band Thomas Tantrum. Critical acclaim had seen them catapulted from rehearsing in a garage by the docks to the Reading, Bestival, SGP and Latitude festivals and national radio appearances (including BBC1 and 6Music), but now winter had bitten and an older, folkier impulse led him to pen a book of wistful, almost melancholic songs that didn’t fit in with his day-job-band’s indie-pop template, referencing Elliot Smith and Nick Drake more often than YYY or the Pixies.
Whilst browsing for vintage Lemonheads in their local Oxfam Music Store, the two hit on the idea of a split EP to shamelessly showcase their songs while raising money and awareness for Oxfam Music. It seemed deceptively simple: do a record on tick, release it through the UK’s network of Oxfam stores specializing in vinyl (touring them to promote the release), get new punters into the stores themselves (essentially great local indie record shops that happen to be benefit empowering development projects worldwide) and walk off with the memories while letting Oxfam pocket all the filthy money.
Six months later, after many long hours waiting outside friends’ studios (Furnace, The Ranch) for spare time, instruments and beds to sleep on, these six songs are the fruit of that collaboration. Friends in Modernaire, Peter Lyons Band, The Moulettes and Moneytree also perform, while the record was mastered by Thomas Tantrum drummer Dave Wade-Brown. Co-operative indie label Sotones release the EP, with original artwork commissioned from local illustrator Billy Mather.
4. All The Wine
5. Natural History
6. Down Among the Dead Men
Press release (c) Sotones, 2009-2010. All rights reserved.