|Joss Cope "Unrequited Lullabies"|
Joss Cope has just released a superb solo album entitled "Unrequited Lullabies" on Gare Du Nord Records and if you like uplifting Psych-tinged guitar pop then this will be right up your street. There are some beautifully crafted songs crammed into just under forty pure unadulterated melodic minutes. The album starts off strongly with the insanely catchy two-song salvo of "Learn To Float" and "Familiar Faces" which are both shot through with memorable guitar riffs and backing vocal harmonies. Next up is the dreamy "Cloudless Skies" which at first reminds me of Roxy Music's "In Every Dream Home A Heartache" before it builds and swells into a powerful crescendo. The moving, lovelorn "Your Broken Heart Is Not For Sale" really tugs on the heartstrings and is one of the album's highlights of which admittedly there are many to choose from. "Guy Like Me" and "What's The Plan" are both perfect upbeat pop songs that would trouble the top of any decent singles chart and "Started Something" has a twist of Syd Barrett. It's difficult not to mention the big brother as "Unrequited Lullabies" does indeed conjure up memories of Julian's excellent first two solo albums "World Shut Your Mouth" and "Fried" and if you like the intelligent pastoral Psych of acts such as XTC, Robyn Hitchcock, The Blue Aeroplanes and Stephen Duffy then I can certainly recommend this.
|Joss Cope - Photo courtesy GDN Records|
Here's some background info on Joss and the album and then you can enjoy the superb opening track "Learn To Float". Born in the Midlands at the start of the swinging '60s, Joss Cope followed elder brother Julian to Liverpool aged 14 and got rapidly sucked in to the nascent Post-Punk scene there, meeting and playing with such future musical luminaries as Les Pattinson (Echo & the Bunnymen), Peter Wylie (Wah Heat) and Mike Mooney (Spiritualized). He would go on to form the short-lived but influential Freight Train with Donald Ross Skinner and Barrett Douce (later of The Mighty Lemon Drops) before he moved to London in 1985 and became part of the emerging Creation Records scene playing with Crash, The Weather Prophets, Rose McDowell and Biff Bang Pow before putting out two albums of his own work with Something Pretty Beautiful. Joss also contributed to his brother Julian's albums "Fried" and "St. Julian" and co-wrote the songs 'Pulsar' and 'Christmas Mourning' with Julian and Donald Ross Skinner. In 1991 he formed psych band The United States of Mind with Ashley Wood (Chemistry Set), Dave Morgan and Greenwood Goulding (Rockingbirds). Only one eponymously titled album of blistering British psychedelia was released on the appropriately titled DyscFunctional imprint, before the band split in 1994. From the mid-90s to the noughties Joss art directed music videos for MTV, edited and voiced the BBC TV children's animated series Yoho Ahoy (2001) and, as a long term committed environmentalist joined Greenpeace as an online producer to work on key campaigns against over-fishing, deforestation and airport expansion.
|Joss Cope - Photo courtesy GDN Records|
In more recent years he's played guitar with Psychedelic soulsters Dexter Bentley and bass with Sergeant Buzfuz, as well as becoming inspired to write songs for himself again. He spends part of each year in Finland with his current partner - cartoonist Virpi Oinonen - and in 2016 he began a collaboration with a trio of top Helsinki musicians: guitarist Veli-Pekka Oinonen (Nights of Iguana, Leningrad Cowboys), bassist Esa Lehporturo and percussionist Ville Raasakka. Early in 2017 the addition of Irish keyboardist O'Reilly O'Rourke (ex-Freak Outburst) completed the line-up, and the band went into Taajuusvarjostin studio to record with producer Arto Nevalainen. Unrequited Lullabies is the result. Here's what Joss has to say. What's it about? "The psychedelia of every-day life, for one thing. I don't think enough of us, enough of the time, appreciate just how miraculous and weird everything going on around us (including ourselves) actually is. Love songs to the children I never had is another, plus a few warnings about what to expect from the good and the bad of life in this magical place, wrapped up in melody and riff." What's it sound like? "It's been likened to Syd Barrett fronting The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, which is absolutely fine by me." Here's "Unrequited Lullabies" superb opening track entitled "Learn To Float"...
"Unrequited Lullabies" is released on Gare Du Nord Records and you can order the album on vinyl, CD or download from here. Thanks to Jon at No Other Publicity and Ian at GDN for the photos.