Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Graham Wright - "Shirts vs. Skins"

Graham Wright the keyboardist from Tokyo Police Club is set to release his debut album Shirts vs. Skins, out today on File Under: Music Records. Following the 2008 release of The Lakes of Alberta EP, which focused on understated folk, Graham wrote over sixty songs with plans to release a trilogy of albums, the first being Shirts vs. Skins. The new album incorporates many different styles and is more straight-forward and upbeat.

Right off the bat, “Heaven’s Just For Movie Makers” is an energetic slice of early-Tokyo Police Club punk- pop with tumbling drums and exuberant vocals. First single, “Soviet Race” features circular guitars, analog synths and a racing vocal cadence on the verse which opens up on the wide-open chorus. “Your Heart Is My Heart” slows down the pace to focus on Graham’s sweet and quirky vocals on the earnest and heartfelt standout track. “Leftovers” has an early 90’s alternative vibe with jangly guitars and power-pop melodies that will find their way into your brain and make themselves at home. Another standout, “Keys To The Kingdom” is more in line with the music found on the EP with a simple acoustic guitar, harmonica and an earnest vocal with clever phrasing. The rollicking folk-rock of “Canadian Thanksgiving” features shouted “Oh’s” and is over before you want it to be. “Potassium Blast” stands out with a skronky horn, vintage organs and joyous background vocals, sounding like Vampire Weekend if they were from New Orleans instead. “Evening Train From Kingston” continues with the Afro-pop, featuring a rhythmic ukulele but with blasts of distorted guitar and Graham’s best Paul Simon impression. The album closes with the short, jaunty, piano-led “No Hard Feelings”, leaving you wanting more.

At first, I was slightly disappointed with the change of direction on Shirts vs. Skins, only because I loved the heart-on-sleeve folk of The Lakes of Alberta EP. But the melodies and mood of the album is undeniably catchy and now I can’t wait to hear more music like this from Graham!

Download: "Soviet Race" here: http://www.killbeatmusic.com/grahamwright/graham_wright-soviet_race.mp3

For more info click here: http://www.grahamwright.ca/ and http://www.fileundermusic.com/

Also: http://grahamwright.bandcamp.com/ (to download the excellent EP The Lakes of Alberta for free!)


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