Thursday, 6 November 2014

CARMELLE (HALCYON TONE) – WET DREAM

Not only do I fucking love this, it also has a brilliant concept. A really fun concept. Whilst on the surface of things it seems to be created by Carmelle, it's actually not as it seems. Ostensibly, Carmelle is a "Minneapolis Funk veteran" who, for the creation of this track 'Wet Dream', "hired a variety of local musicians in his adopted home of Lisbon to bring an uncharacteristically frantic pace to this, his biggest release as an expat."

It is pure fantasy. Carmelle, and in fact every artist featured on this compilation by Halcyon Tone, Halcyon Tone vol. 1: Reflection – yes, even "Yugoslavian-Italian songwriter and record producer" YUNIX – is a fabrication. Explaining themselves, the duo that is Halcyon Tone say: "Many concept albums have been written from the POV of some alter-ego, but Halcyon Tone have invented an entire roster of imaginary and often eccentric artists in order to express their eclectic (and electric) musical impulses."

It's all part of the entertainment, this total immersion in an imagined retro world, with characters as big and bold as any real life star of yesteryear. Rather than be inspired by retro things, be a modern-day person and make music that sounds like old stuff, why not create a whole universe of characters who actually existed back then, and whose music can be retrospectively re-discovered or posthumously released. The possibilities are infinite.

I wish I could write about all of these tracks but I'm afraid I would, uh, gush. Yes, that's the right word. I'd gush. So I'll just mini-gush about 'Wet Dream' (sounds wrong, sorry).

It is a vigorous disco-leaning, boogie-conjuror of a track, bumping forward with robust bass and a brisk jogging beat with supershaker hi-hats; punctuated with sparkling synth chords, delicate and subtle, joined by a different progression towards the end, played this time with a breezy organ. The verse holds in it a simple 3-note synth melody, supporting the vocals, which are incidentally the best part of this track; sung in falsetto and totally aware of how to make everything catchy, they ring with ecstasy and romance and I cannot get the chorus hook "Not a day in my life goes by / When I'm not thinking of you" out of my head. The lyrics are also incredible, full of rich, youthful imagery (you can read them all here). I am in love with this song and you could be, too. Just too damn charming.

I can't say anything else except that this is extremely interesting for me. I love the sounds, I love the concept, aesthetics. I guess I could say that Halcyon Tone are a duo, Josh and Chris, and they are based in Tokyo.

  • Please, please, please, please, please do yourself a favour and have a listen to Halcyon Tone Vol. 1: Reflection
  • Fun fact: you ever heard the term 'halcyon days'? Like a wordy way to say 'good old days'. But it comes from the Greek world for kingfisher, halcyon, which would often appear in late summer, thus cementing the term 'halcyon days' as reminiscent of very nice warm days of summer.



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