Vernon Sélavy- Stressed Desserts Blues

The spindly sound makes everything come across a bit world weary, a bit Syd Barrett, that sort of maisonette, down-at-heel urban blues, which if handled well (as it is here) can be really affecting music.

vernonselavy.bandcamp.com (Azbin Records)

This lad’s a dafty, but it’s a good daft. Know what I mean? It gives you a good feeling listening to this skewed R’n’B driven pop. Stressed Desserts Blues is an unravelling sort of blues, loose of thread, uncertain of direction but for ever striking quixotic poses. The opener When We Two Were Parted is a wired and frayed, but essentially friendly work out; like some knacked out old jumper. The spindly sound makes everything come across a bit world weary, a bit Syd Barrett, that sort of maisonette, down-at-heel urban blues, which if handled well (as it is here) can be really affecting music.

Another Place is about as loose as it gets, with the shimmering effects, (and the drumming which sounds like its being recorded in the room across the hallway), making everything slightly translucent around the edges. Woozy waltzes such as Straight Into the Soft Bed of Our Guts and Shoes of the Dead conjure up a fair number of surreal images and situations, the former being this great deadpan pop song that’s sliding inexorably off a cliff; it’s not poppy per se, but it’s a great example of a song written by someone with a great understanding of both how to write a pop song and how to make it sound, well… like this. Elsewhere, the acoustic forays like The Day our Lies Will Bloom and the Ballad of The Empty Hands are great Boho/gonzo rants; that’s if they could be arsed about getting out of bed in the first place. The Way it Goes could be described as a mash up between a music hall turn and a preacher man’s sermon about the evils of cocking up: the cod doo wop chorus and clumped piano only makes everything sound that bit more hopeless…

It’s enormously appealing if a tad cynical. Never mind, you can happily while away an hour or so listening to this.