Ian Garland BOTW #9 Spectrals

As our so called British summer beckons …or is it here already, I don’t know? Mother Nature has a somewhat schizophrenic approach when she comes to dishing
out the weather in the UK …

Anyway the summer season should put you in the mood for some hazy, psychedelic, nostalgic, melodic sun-kissed music while you sip your ice cold mojito and wiggle your toes in the sensual breeze. I have just the artist for that juxtaposition…


Spectrals is the brainchild of Louis Jones, a talented musician from Heckmondwike, a small town close to Leeds in Yorkshire (UK). It’s fairly obvious when you listen to Jones’ music that he is clearly influenced by the work of Phil Spector and his ‘wall of sound’, but there’s something else spooky, lurking within his tantalising songs.. something that haunts and perturbs the mind like… well, a specter I guess!

There are psychedelic dimensions to his music – to visualise it, just think a beautiful, spiraling fractal. So it makes perfect sense to name the act, Spectrals.
Anyway, that’s my take on his ingenious name!

Jones started his erudition into cool music at a young age, not eager to conform with his mates playing football down at the park, instead he would pick up and play a guitar that his dad left around the house and listen to a mixture of ’50s rock ‘n’ roll, ’60s & ’70s soul, doo-wop and classic Motown music that I’m sure most of his mates weren’t listening to. Now his good taste has been etched into the sound of Spectrals.

Jones, like most musicians, joined MySpace mainly so his friends could hear his greatness. He had already added American indie label, Captured Tracks (home of Dum Dum Girls and Veronica Falls) as a friend, and within just one hour of him putting tracks up, the label signed him to record his eponymous debut 7″ which features the dreamy, fuzz-pop gems, Leave Me Be and Suit Yourself.

Spectrals can now be found on the ultra cool label, Moshi Moshi (home to Au Revoir Simone, The Drums and Florence & The Machine) who have released the EP, Extended Play which was recorded entirely on analogue.

Judging by his early recordings, there’s a notable maturity in the production on this EP. With seven tracks featuring the garage-esque, Dip Your Toe, the whimsical, I Ran With Love But I Couldn’t Keep Up.

There’s a song about going on a 7th date, aptly titled, 7th Date, a track which could have easily come out of Alex Turner’s songbook, especially if you heard what the Arctic Monkey did with the Submarine EP. My favourite on the EP is the totally dreamy single, Peppermint.

Spectrals are yet to release an album but from what I hear, there should be one out before the end of the summer. I was lucky to catch Spectrals, playing as a full band at this year’s Camden Crawl and I have to say, they were definitely one of my highlights.

With their blusey, lo-fi, psyche pop, the whole crowd were well and truly captivated, one being Bobb Bruno, the guitarist from Best Coast (who Spectrals recently supported).

This is the the marvelous, aforementioned Peppermint (above).. click and enjoy!

Simon & Garfunkel were originally called Tom & Jerry… F@ct!