Being a pop star may not mean the same as it used to in the hedonistic blazes of previous generations, but it still affords some privileges for internationally renowned acts. Whilst they’re still a world away from the mega-star status that the likes of Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga have attained, and probably even detached from the well known, mainstream acknowledgement of The Cribs or Kaiser Chiefs, but it’s still fair to say The Drums are pop stars in their own right. When not helping make surfed-up pop songs that sound like decent covers of cheery Morrissey b-sides, Jacob from the band finds time to run his own vanity label. Holiday Records have been putting out songs since last year for a whole variety of artists, with a new ‘single’ available each Friday for a free download, and the variety of artists on show have been an heady mix of jangly guitars, downbeat synths and 80’s revivalism.
Somewhere in amongst this patchwork of unappreciated acts is Golden Glow, the project of Manchester resident Pierre Hall. Distinguishable in a crowd by his glorious dreadlocks, he makes subdued ditties that draw their influence from all the right places. In a similar way that LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy soaked up the New York scene and released it as series of dance-floor filling classics, Hall is a sponge, absorbing the unique atmosphere and ambience that is Mancunian night life. A man of great taste as he is, Golden Glow holds a mirror up to the city it inhabits without pretension, perhaps the most arresting aspect of the songs being that it is wonderfully devoid of scene-chasing. It’d be difficult to attribute this tuneful near-monotone drawl to any one of the number of faux-genres that have sprung up in the past few months of posts by pitchfork-watching blogs. In fact, it’s a curiously difficult project to dissect, almost shoegaze in aesthetic, though devoid of the twee overtones that modern contemporaries have thrown upon it, in places echoing the nearby drawl of the excellent Young British Artists.
One of the most favoured bands on Holiday Records, Hall was even rewarded with a slot supporting The Drums earlier in the year. Like all fads, beach pop and swinging, soft-garage rock will die, and all the postured crooning of the Brooklyn four piece could easily be consigned to the waste bin of musical history if they don’t evolve and grow. Golden Glow is a project that offers something a little more timeless than that – hopefully a download single on a boutique imprint will only be a footnote for a musician who is far from ephemeral.
Golden Glow – Streetlighter [download from holiday records]
Golden Glow is playing Postcards from Manchester