Down Tangerine Road
Sleepyard stem from Norway. They have released four acclaimed albums, including last year’s Future Lines… and they often collaborate with musical legends from the past and present! Contributions on the latest venture come from Spacemen 3’s Sonic Boom and American pianist Mike Garson ¬– the fella that made Bowie’s Aladdin Sane so special. In June the band recorded a somewhat different version of The Seeds’ psych monster ‘Chocolate River’ with Hawkwind’s Nik Turner on sax for a tribute CD to Sky Saxon!
Limited edition vinyl release ‘Down Tangerine Road’ features the inimitable bluesy vocals of Scottish indie-pop legend Jim Shepherd (who also co-wrote the song). Jim’s Creation Records’ act The Jasmine Minks inspired many – an adaptation of mini-album title All Good Preachers Go To Heaven became the name of Welsh stadium rockers The Manic Street Preachers whilst in the ’80s the Minks were constantly sharing the stage with other emerging indie darlings like Primal Scream, The Jesus & Mary Chain and later The Happy Mondays and James.
The three track 7” vinyl EP opens with Jim Shepherd’s heartfelt folky blues tune ‘Down Tangerine Road’ which is quite unlike anything either The Jasmine Minks or Sleepyard have recorded. Mike Garson’s Pentecostal piano, Shepherd’s soulful vocal and some lazy blues harp give the song emotional recoil that is both timeless and passionate. It’s a tune that indie, blues, folk and soul fans are destined to fall in love with. The radio beckons. The other two tracks are more in keeping with Sleepyard’s patented epic pop: ‘Dear Melody’ might be an Association, Left Banke or Zombies’ side from the late ’60s whilst The Flaming Lips spring to mind on ‘Pebble Girl’ as drum machines, vintage synths and a lost vocal akin to Dennis Wilson at his most heavily bearded melt together. .