It seems that this is the summer for a couple of albums connected to The Young Marble Giants to finally be released as this is one of two YMG connected album I have to review along with the new album by The Gist recorded a good while ago. This collaboration is between YMG's Stuart Moxham and French studio legend and football reporter Louis Phillipe that the press release mysteriously says was recorded some years ago, but I'd guess at a similar time as the pairs last album together in 2007.
The opener Tidy Away is gently yet beautifully strummed acoustic harmonized bucolic folk, it is a plea to spend a day tidying up rather than trying to get more stuff.
Day Must Come is a super mellow evocation of a feeling and yearning for better times with some wonderfully wistful organ.
It Goes Like This is gentle barely their folk with every note carefully played and placed in the mix as the song gently builds adding more voices and instruments as it swells up.
Love Hangover sounds nothing like the song Lou Reed mocks on Takes No Prisoners but then Stuart doesn't sound much like Diana Ross either on this gently strummed song.
The Devil Laughs is far more gentle than you might imagine from the title, this sounds like it comes from the soundtrack to a french or Italian movie from the 70's, while being a cool evocation of what goes wrong with love.
Sky Over Water is a little bit more upbeat with some cool piano even if I am almost singing the words to a different song even before the choral backing vocals arrive this is complex and simple and just a wonderful song that will reveal more the more you listen to it.
Fighting To Lose is so gently bucolic as to almost not be there but the repeating guitar figure is wonderful as the harmony vocals seem to whisper in our ears.
Untitled #2 almost feels like the sort of tune you'd expect on the soundtrack to an episode of Belle & Sebastian and is worth hearing just for what the double Bass does in it.
Come To Me Nancy sounds like an old English folk standard being only slightly brought into the modern world as this still has a very 70's easy listening feel to it like they really love The New Seekers/Seekers non-teaching the world to sing material.
Head In A Song is the most super gentle song ever about pulling out someone's hair, so much so that it sounds like the sort of thing that you'd do to chill out.
Singing Out feels like a nice sweet lullaby to help us all drift off to sleep too, I wouldn't advise that as you might miss the chance to hear everything going on and the beautiful lyrics and harmonies.
The album finishes with Tidy Away (Reprise) almost like they want to make sure we all get ready to file this album properly after listening to it. Well I'd suggest keeping it out and listening again as you'll probably want too.
Find out more at https://stuartmoxhamlouisphilippe.bandcamp.com/album/the-devil-laughs https://www.facebook.com/moxhamstuart/