I’ve got a new favourite song – one of those I just can’t stop playing. And it doesn’t rock! It chugs along in a Velvet Underground fashion. It isn’t dead sad either; instead it’s a wistful reflection on a break up. But it has a lovely minor key melody and is sung beautifully, by Ursula Russell and James Howard. They are Blue House, from London, though if I’d read that they were from Australia or New Zealand I wouldn’t have been surprised. Crowded House are one of the bands that come to mind, as I indulge in my usual practice of comparing new bands with older ones. Other reference points for me are Prefab Sprout, Belle and Sebastian, and Everything but the Girl. And I guess you’d throw R.E.M in there too, with their penchant for what Peter Buck once called “minor key ballady things”.
The song is called “Ear to the Door”, and it’s from Blue House’s debut album, “Suppose”. It’s a good album, full of wistful, slightly quirky, chugging-along songs. I saw them play in the Tipi tent at End of the Road and really liked their sound. Ursula and James play really well off each other, and the louder guitar sound you get live gave them that Velvets feel.
Have a listen to the track on Soundcloud, and give the album a whirl too. It’s definitely a candidate for my 2016 top ten. They are playing St Pancras Old Church on 14 December. I’ll be there!
There’ll always be a key, under the doormat…