In the video for new single ‘Get A Grip’, Louis Jones plays guitar in a series of countryside scenes filmed in his native Yorkshire. Under skies a dismal shade of school-sock grey, the 21-year-old Spectrals mastermind appears first on a windswept moor, then by an empty park bench – images of bleak northern splendour that subtly send up the hazy beach aesthetic we’ve come to associate with this kind of jangling lo-fi fare.
After all, surfing opportunities for the boy Jones were in short supply growing up in West Yorkshire: “Heckmondwike [his home town, nine miles out of Leeds] is like a dead place really, there’s a couple of pubs and not much else,” he says matter-of-factly. “I’ll come off tour and nothing really changes, no-one gives a fuck about your music or any stuff like that. Which is grand really, ’cos it gives you a bit of perspective on things.”
Despite the surly chat, Jones is a big softie at heart – his forthcoming debut for Wichita, ‘Bad Penny’, is a liltingly gorgeous ode to unrequited love whose obsessive nature is implied in the title. “Every song on the record’s about this one girl,” he says with a nod. “You know there’s the saying about how a bad penny always comes back around? It’s like every time I write a song I always come back to that feeling I had when I loved her and she didn’t love me back.”
Jones may have got the girl in question since then, but the music on ‘Bad Penny’ is dreamy and downbeat, bringing to mind fellow jangle merchants Real Estate (with whom Spectrals have toured) and Alex Turner at his most swooning and lovelorn. Jones, however, is wary of such high-falutin’ talk: “You get bands who talk about themselves like they’re the best thing since sliced bread, but that’s not really me. If I told you all these things about meself and my mates saw it, I’d get it ripped out of me. Maybe it’s a Yorkshire thing…”
Maybe he’s right. But with Louis refusing to take his own trumpet out the carry-case – let alone blow it – it looks like we’ll have to do that for him: Spectrals are worth singing along to from the moortops. Alex Denney
Need To Know:
Based: Heckmondwicke, Leeds
For Fans Of: Arctic Monkeys, Phil Spector
Buy it: Debut album 'Bad Penny' is out on October 17
On tour: Spectrals tour the UK throughout October
On NME.COM: Listen to the new single "Get A Grip"
Believe It Or Not: 95% of Louis' Tweets are football-related. The man is OBSESSED
This article originally appeared in the October 8th issue of NME
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