Categorized | Album Reviews

Junkboy – Sovereign Sky

Posted on 14 November 2014 by Joe

Come take a barefoot run across the Sussex Downs, sandals in hand, kaftan lapping in the wind as we head with Junkboy down to the coast. These are the images that this hidden 2014 gem conveys with its echoes of flower-power California and good old fashioned British folk and pop.

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The coastal vibe is strong for good reason as Junkboy are brothers Rich and Mik Hanscomb who hail from Southend-on-Sea and now reside on the Sussex coast. This second album from the pair, which follows on from 2010’s Koyo, is packed full of  great tunes as they  mine their own record collections for influence. Pentangle perhaps comes across most strongly in Priory Park, which features the added sounds of birds and the wind in the trees (perhaps from the real park of the same name in Southend) all blended with acoustic guitar string bending and laid back percussion. It’s a great opener with a single electric guitar chord at the end to reveal the pop to come.

Cellos and violin figure strongly too, particularly on Redwood to give it a nice psychedelic pop vibe. It is no surprise to hear XTC’s influence here, seeing as back in the mid 1980s they proved fine exponents of psychedelic pop with their Dukes of Stratosphear incarnation. Rainfalls is the track here that is most like XTC with its soaring chorus.

Their press release name checks American Analogue Set too and I can certainly hear their influence in this album’s laid back pop and shuffling rhythms.

Special mention goes to Release the Sunshine, the album’s standout track. Surely this sun soaked slice of pop is a cover? Not so, it’s pure Junkboy, who on the evidence of this album appear to be one of the UK music scene’s best kept secrets.

8/10

by Joe Lepper

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