Sometime terms that are bandied around like indie, low-fi and the rest of the classifications thrown around by the pundits, do little to throw any light on the music they are meant to describe. But I’m going to succumb to this anyway because Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Terry De Castro has created a real mid-Atlantic “West Coast meets UK Indie” sound for her second album for Scopitones, You Can’t Separate Light. However, I do mean this in a good way!
This mini-album is somewhat of a departure from 2009’s A Casa Verde in several ways. This first outing was the result of an idea for Terry to record songs written and performed by her friends, who were also in some of her favourite bands. A challenge was laid down by David Gedge of The Wedding Present and the songs were released as A Casa Verde on his Scopitones label.
For the new album, rather than covers these are all original songs; five of them written in collaboration with Dean Frances-Hawksley. The songs also represent that true mixture of the influences that you would expect in someone who has lived and was educated on both sides of the Atlantic, and with a career playing with the likes of The Wedding Present, Cinerama, Goya Dress, and latterly involved with folk and Bluegrass with the Craft In America Band.
The first two songs illustrate this perfectly. Old Songs To Pieces has that west coast folky vibe but immediately Supermarket Flowers takes us to a more melancholy, darker place. The excellent Depositions is a real mixture and a surprise, starting with what feels like a far eastern wail accompanied by a koto-like sound that resolves into banjo and voice. Minimalist and straightforward this song is my favourite on the album.
The Darker I Feel has a more mainstream feel and harks back to Terry’s favourites on the first album. Listen on Soundcloud
See Jane Run ends the album with a richer keyboard-backed sound but still with that brooding undertone that creeps into all the songs.
The official album launch was in Los Angeles last weekend but UK fans can hear these songs live at David Gedge’s At The Edge Of the Sea festival this August Bank Holiday. Terry and her band have played this festival to great reviews previously, and I’m really looking forward to seeing them again. Her version of Corduroy is remarkable:
You Can’t separate Light will be realeased 14th August and is available as a pre-order from Scopitones on 10” clear vinyl.
So we have six great songs that make up what is a fine mini album. My only question is – where are the other six?!
Review: Ian Gelling