Ken Stringfellow : London WC2 Borderline

recreating the creamy guitar pop that made The Posies the finest guitar pop dreamers of the '90's.

“It’s a familiar old story” smiles Ken Stringfellow, introducing his new single, ‘Down Like Me’. “Boy meets girl; boy loses girl; boy threatens suicide; girl actually kills herself”.

He half-chuckles, and starts picking out the exquisitely-tailored tear-stained pop which may sooon elevate him from cult status to the post-grunge generation’s heartbreak troubadour.

These aren’t Elliott Smith

-esque coffee-shop mewlings or lifeless Cold-Sailor filler, but swooning, soaring songs that sound like omnipotent 70s AOR, stripped of its gloopier sentiments, and retooled by a lyricist whose sensitivity doesn’t render his caressing couplets toothless. Ken’s not lost the gift for creamy guitar pop that made The Posies the finest PowerPop dreamers of the 90s either. But shorn of thundering rhythm sections and heavy decibels, his sugary anthems gives way to something darker, more bittersweet, and ultimately more satisfying.

As if to underscore his witty alt-pop dudehood, Ken chuckles and explains away references to God and praying in his songs as more a homage to a Brian Wilson-esque spiritualism than any denominational deity. But lines like ‘How can there be a heaven when they kicked you out / Cos you kicked out your chair from above’ betray an emotional weight beyond most Beach Boys-fetishists. No, Ken sings his own song, and it is sublime.

Stevie Chick