I’m not sure what vibe I expected to hear from the opening salvo of a young Swindon musician, one presumably brought up on Netflix, Calvin Harris and undoubtedly surrounded by people still banging on about XTC. Whatever my presumptions they didn’t include the sun-soaked, calypso pop of Saturday Nights. (Also the Calvin Harris bit is just a guess, I have no idea what young men listen to anymore, if I knew that I’d be writing for a lad’s mag, probably titled Blokez or Trousers or something equally banal.) Anyway, as I say, I didn’t think the introductory vibe would be something that sounds like it was made in an imaginary part of London where Camden borders Brixton or indeed where Swindon channels its inner Trinidad!
And whilst it is an album driven by a sort of uke-ska groove, an island-pop vibe, sub-reggae feels it is when Pearce deviates from his comfort zones that the real gems are found. Your Problem is The Blue, is a cascading, shimmering slice of delicate sonics, Your Favourite Place wanders some much more mature indie-pop pathways and Think About the Things is a dream-like and drifting collection of chiming string-work and understated, spacious and emotionally charged sentiments.
And perhaps the most interesting piece on an altogether interesting album is I Remember, which is built around a wave of haunted sonics but is driven by an almost chirpy core rhythm which shouldn’t work but does. They say that opposites attract, it is just a matter of being deft enough to work out just which are the right opposites I guess.
If you know Jordy Pearce as the guy with the uke, well, he still is, but The Things proves, as always, it ain’t what you do, it is most certainly is the way that you do it. And if we have to have ukulele driven pop, and I must admit that the jury is still out on that one, then you might as well have it done in such interesting and unpredictable ways.
Come for the uke-ness, stay for the unique-ness….there’s the tag line.