Tea and Medals – The Insufferable Paul Scott (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

I can’t be sure but I suspect that the album title is a reference to a Black Adder quote. If so, The Insufferable Paul Scott can do no wrong in my eyes. He has exquisite taste and that is enough for me.

But, as I play the album, it becomes clear that we would have easily won me over anyway, the music here is sublime, a cool mix of infectious melodies and rich, alt-pop textures, sonic adventure and the ability to write slightly off-beat, underground classics. The best sort!

Opener, Bells Ring is a great way to kick off, slightly subdued, dark pop, not the obvious way to open an album but that is, I guess the whole point, in the words of Suzane Vega “don’t give away the goods too soon.” We are then rewarded with the more groovesome and anthemic 1000 Saints and the obvious lift in mood and melody between the two tracks seems to say to the listener …see, I can do accessible pop, but I don’t always want to.

Suburbs Like Seas is off-kilter, new-wave and so confidently out of step with the modern zeitgeist that it becomes a beacon for a new music scene in its own right…last one to sign up is a loser! Electioneers is a hazy, cool, indie breeze, reminiscent of fellow antipodeans, The Church and closing track Circle The Oval is a strange yet beguiling, lilting and raw-edged music hall meets folk cascade.

Odd, addictive…awesome!

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