Malka Spigel – Every Day is Like the First Day

...imagine some Cowell / Waterman figure manipulating these poppy well-crafted tracks into god-awfully addictive ur- torch-lit rallies for our collective subjugation...

 

http://www.swimhq.com http://www.konkurrent.nl

Missed this – normally I’ll pick up anything coming out of Swim as they’re a great label and have been since the late 90’s. And this is despite the fact that alongside Colin Newman & Malka Spigel, there are a whole host of guests such as Alexander Balanescu, Julie Campbell, Nik Colk Void and Johnny Marr. Maybe that’s the way it should be, that this record’s personality has been allowed to express itself fully and you pick up on the fact that it’s quite happy to sit in the background, happy to be discovered but not all that fussed about being missed by the thrill seekers…

You have to allow this record some space, so unobtrusive is it. A compact, quiet listen redolent of spending a Sunday afternoon walking through the park– it’s a release that starts to take form after spending a week or so in its company. The opening three tracks are incredibly reflective, you feel as if you shouldn’t be intruding: they keep their charms well hidden, despite them boasting the aforementioned collaborators such as Alexander Balanescu and Johnny Marr. Still once you suss what’s going on, you can appreciate the craft with which this LP was made. Ammonite glides up on you unawares; Balanescu adding subtle prompts with violin by the end, gently forcing the song over towards the finish and Marr’s gossamer web of guitar which accompanies the tail out on Lost in Sound is something you may miss such is its willingness to play second fiddle to the track as a whole.

So a record of moods hints and whispers: but recognizing this shouldn’t mean that you ignore the fact that Every Day is Like the First Day is very, very poppy; packed full of hooks and riffs. It’s just that the melodies are on the whole quietly presented (European Weather or Dream Time could be, if “packaged differently” sing-alongs – imagine some Cowell / Waterman figure manipulating these poppy well-crafted tracks into god-awfully addictive ur- torch-lit rallies for our collective subjugation). Everything is soft, the whole sound is supine, languorous; when we do have a step up in tempo, such as with Two Dimensions in a Single Frame, matters get snakier, following that Githead groove. It’s never a record that loses its grip though, its needle sharp in places, Finding You, Chasing Shadows or the crushingly direct No More Running are honest, clear sighted tracks, happy to lay out the gameplan with no recourse to ego. So it’s softly played, poppy and on the whole amicable, but don’t expect some whither lady fol de roy stuff, or that awful twee gaucheness. The other remarkable thing is the fact that there’s not a spare ounce of flesh on this release, it never tails off, if anything the closing track, After the Rain is one of the LP’s strongest.

A great record then, proof positive that choosing your own pace is a good, good thing.