Meursault – Pissing on Bonfires/Kissing With Tongues
Four-piece Meursault – loved by Mojo (which spelt their name wrong) and praised in The Scotsman – play six & twelve string acoustic guitars, five string banjo, tenor ukulele, accordian, upright piano, cajon, shaker, korg electribe samplers, korg synth, bowed electric guitar, autoharp, floor tom, snare – and circuit bending. If you read that list and think “folktronica”, listen in – the beats are so programmed and prominent, and Neil Pennycook’s voice strains so hard (without cracking), that the label doesn’t really do them justice. Pennycook is also a fine songwriter, producing humane lyrics such as “the worry that you carry is another word for courage” in The Furnace. They’ve also thought about the pacing of the album – for example, the instrumental Statues of Strangers is a welcome breather in between Salt Pt.1 and The Furnace.
If I may be so bold as to recommend a couple of tracks, try four, the title track (also on my social CD) and eight, A Small Stretch of Land. The title track makes a combination of lamb-and-apricot perfection with Poke, by Frightened Rabbit, whom they’re supporting in Edinburgh on 18 August. Meursault are also playing a session for Marc Riley on 6 Music on 6 August.
Since Pissing On Bonfires/Kissing With Tongues was released last year, Meursault have released the Nothing Broke EP. This is the title track:
This is a live version of the penultimate track, William Henry Miller, Pt.1, played on a bandstand in Newcastle. The eccentric Miller lived in 18th-century Edinburgh and was rumoured to be a hermaphrodite. When he died, he asked to be buried face down, forty feet below the ground, so that when he ascended to heaven, he could see the souls of others burning in hell below. The story (his? hers?) makes for a beautiful song, though.
EDIT: Thanks Ed!
Neither the album nor the EP are on sale in the remaining high-street music chain, but you can buy it from Song By Toad, which helpfully puts the online store on the front page, or iTunes, which a**erisks the album with abandon.