The Blossom Filled Streets

No matter how loud you turn them up, [a]Movietone[/a] still sound far, far away.

No matter how loud you turn them up, [a]Movietone[/a] still sound far, far away. Their music comes filtered through thick banks of cloud; hazy, indistinct, a little damp. Maybe there’s an old jazz record playing in the house across the bay, or a broken guitar feeding back almost out of earshot. It’s hard to tell.

OK, we exaggerate, but not by much. ‘The Blossom Filled Streets’ is the third album by Movietone, part of the Bristol collective of second-hand record shop loiterers and fuzz aesthetes that also includes[a]Flying Saucer Attack[/a] and the Third Eye Foundation. The windswept-and-interesting arm of this many-tentacled avant-rock behemoth, they’re a spare, willowy pleasure.

Everything feels tremendously loose, as pianos and woodwinds circle indolently around drumming that could, in a gentler world, be called jazzy. One track, featuring sternly scraped bass, some seagulls and nothing else, is called ‘Seagulls/Bass’. Kate Wright sings sometimes, like on the marvellous ‘Hydra’, and appears to have wandered in off the streets by accident, utterly lost. It’s all a bit unnerving for orthodox rockers, but lovely nonetheless.

The last albums by Yo La Tengo and The Pastels have had a similarly folksy, soft-focus grace. But Movietone inhabit a peculiarly English landscape, one of fog and deserted beaches that’s more mythical than part of ordinary life. Every day is like Sunday, then, but in a terribly sophisticated way.