Cosmic folk-pop. Is that a thing? Well, if not, let’s make it a thing, after all we need a suitable category to put The Raft in, so why not that? As Phil Wilson and his associates go about their business of making this fantastic and somehow quintessentially English music, you wonder why The Raft aren’t a bigger deal. After all in an entertainment scene which includes Robin Thicke and Storage Hunters there must be room for music this gorgeous.
And gorgeous is indeed the word, Claire O’Neil’s vocals alone would be enough to warrant it’s use but the sumptuous, shimmering music which carries it along has me thinking that there might even be a better word…it’ll come to me.
Musically this pairing of songs, (didn’t we use to call that a single?) is built on hazy indie-folk which toys with words like fey and twee but deftly avoids such undermining connotations by virtue of being anchored to more robust pop structures, and ends up closer to such iconic bands as The Sundays and even Talk Talk. It is pop painted in watercolour rather than the heavy handed, over applied oils of the big industry way of working. There is something wonderfully parochial about the lyrics, a real English, tea drinking, breezy, over the garden fence chat sort of vibe, rather than the usual self-aggrandising, cooler than thou rubbish that has become the norm.
There may be a lot going on here which reminds me of some of the glory days of my formative musical years but everything is cyclical and as a way forward for alternative pop music, I’m all in.
Transcendent, that’s the word I was looking for.