Formed in San Francisco during the Summer of 2010 Matthew Edwards was formerly the singer in The Music Lovers.
Matthew is now a resident of Birmingham UK and has an English version of the group.
On the new album ‘The Fates’ (Metal Postcard – out on November 3rd) The Unfortunates are joined by English multi-instrumentalist Fred Frith (Henry Cow, Eno, Robert Wyatt) and production is by Eric Drew Feldman (Beefheart, P.J. Harvey, Pixies).
We had an early listen to The Fates –
An intriguing tale illuminates the foggyness of the smoke-room snuggling atmosphere on the first track ‘Accident’.
Delightful backing vocals add a glow – like the golden warmth from a glass of whiskey on the side.
‘Ghost’ is suitably creepy – with shaky violin-sounds.
These slip and slide around the perplexing lyrics. A gently abraded guitar adds texture.
Otherwise, this is as ethereal as the ghost once kissed. Mesmerizing and magical.
Psychedelic folk-rock track ‘The English Blues’ is haunting and nostalgic.
Buttery pieces seem to escape – and the piece reminds us of the Beatles circa ‘67 – this sits like an awkward English gentleman clumsily attempting to look his best on a shaky seaside deck chair.
‘Sandrine Bonnaire’ is an ode to the beautiful French actress and director.
Like many fans, the narrator is unable to tease apart fact from fiction – so this song is like a scrapbook of newspaper clippings, movie posters, reviews and short, flickery images.
The imagination, wit and mind-tricks continue to the final song ‘Before The Good Times’ which is actually a far more formulaic and regular country piece.
A pounding drum leads the vocals along the way – they pass along quickly – almost pigeon-toed.
And the accompanying sounds begin to grow. The idea is about as sad as you can get – “Once we were alone… and had a place of our own… before the Good Times tore us apart.”
The message is: The god of wine and abundance will not necessarily bring us luck.
This is jammed full of nostalgia…. Quizzical lyrics, wonderful orchestration and stunning vocals.
It swells with ideas, promises and packages – like a padded jacket worn by a dandy. Wonderful and smart.
@neilmach © 2014
Main image: Photo Credit Benedikt Partenheimer