Highlights: Grey Suits, Auntie Nelly, Rescue, Earthly Air
Adele Pickvance and Glenn Thompson are mostly known for being part of one of the greatest pop bands of all time, The Go-Betweens (specifically, the three reunion albums). So if you have ever listened to a Go-Betweens record, you will more or less have a clue as to what to expect from Carrington Street even before you give this thing its first spin. Slightly understated melodic charm and a sheer abundance of taste. Don’t expect the charisma of Forster/McLennan, but God is this an amazing listen.
If I had to label this stuff, I’d probably say that Carrington Street is lush folk-pop, what with the precious, fragile floatiness of the opening “I Dreamt I Was A Sparrow” or the brilliant melancholic ballad called “Auntie Nelly” (that somehow evokes Damien Youth’s haunting classic “Through The Eyes Of Molly”). There are small bits and pieces of diversity here, like the punchy, punkish energy rush of “City Of Sound”, but they mostly play it safe. Which I honestly don’t mind, particularly since their glorious influences are so transparent.
There’s a lovely, loving ghost of McLennan in pretty much everything they do, and you will surely notice that the brilliant “Rescue” owes its existence to “Let Your Light In, Babe” off Forster’s masterful The Evangelist (how fitting that the latter was actually a song started by Grant before his untimely death). I don’t much care for the lilting, country-esque and anonymous “Happiness”, but as long as they have “Earthly Air” there at the end… Imagine a ballad by Forster (think “He Lives My Life”) as sung by Grant. Irresistible.
The album is brief, it lasts little over 30 minutes, but there’s no question that Carrington Street is one of the most delightful and subtle albums of 2012. I got it in a Glasgow record store for a mere £1.99, and it was somewhat embarrassing: it is worth so much more.