To me the the organic and the digital fused most beautifully when I first discovered Candy Claws in December 2009. I remember vividly a sweltering Summer, but most of all I remember driving back from Blueys Beach to see Why? play the Annandale (An artist for another post). On that trip down, my worthy travel companion Nick Hurditch provided a playlist downloaded from a last.fm connection that might have been incredible though I don’t actually remember another track it contained. The key song for me, that will forever remind me of that Summer and that drive, was Catamaran by Candy Claws. It was a deep breathing Summer wash that resonated perfectly with late afternoon drive through sweltering coastal roads with one’s hair whipping about one’s head. It feels unusual writing without my characteristic cynism but my memory of that afternoon is so crisp and pure that I refuse to tarnish it with any half-heartedness.
Anyway, parallel to the memory of that warm afternoon is the memory of that song and in turn the memory of that record. It was (and still is) called In The Dream of the Sea Life and more than most records that I recommend, I demand that you purchase it. Truly, it’s around $7 for the full download so you’d be outright foolish not to. It’s more ambient than almost anything I’ve posted before this and the melody is blurred beneath what I think are the integrated sounds of the ocean, declaring the record title relatively poignant. I am having a genuinely difficult time choosing the right songs for you to stream, and the end I’ve come to these two, though you should hear the album as an unabridged piece of art. It just feels like the product of a very specific time and place. I am all about it.
They had a follow-up record come out further down the trail but it didn’t hold a candle to this thing, despite receiving more critical attention.
Owen Ashworth has been making music under the moniker of Casiotone For The Painfully Alone since ’97 but only at the end of last week with what is effectively the band’s siren song did I take the time to listen to a track through. Andrew Maxam tried to get me to listen back in the day but I said ‘Nay Andrew, I know better’. I did not know better. I couldn’t get past the dissidence between vocal and beat. This week, Roland K Smith put this on my plate and I’ve been enamoured since.
This track is the parting track he left in his wake as he left behind the years long project of CFTPA. Named and listed are almost certainly everyone he’s ever loved, known or met on yahoo chat. I’m still trying to work out how a track with beats this excitable still manages to have any emotional resonance yet it’s there, proving that you don’t have to resort to minor chords and falsetto to convey sadness.
Listen, then listen again in about an hour. It’s really, really good.
Casiotone For The Painfully Alone – ‘Goodbye Parthenon’
He has swathes of recordings behind him, many of which you’ll find available free online.