If You Buy One Album Out This Week, Make It…
The London Souls - Here Come The Girls
As we’ve said previously, some great rock albums excel within established boundaries. The London Souls (not actually from London) happened to pick particularly good boundaries. Here Come The Girls is their second album, and it’s an absolute delight – effortlessly capturing the Beatles-y spirit of Abbey Road (where it was recorded), rather than crowbarring retro qualities in. For the last few years The London Souls have, for the most part, been a secret confined to the New York live scene. But no more.
As sunny British picnic plans are sporadically ballsed up by rain, Here Come The Girls is one pocket of summer you can count on. Classic Rock writer Hugh Fielder called it “a timeless pleasure” in his review. It’s not a replica of the past, but it stirs in aspects of that era to endearing yet ‘new’ effect. Like a tasting menu of highlights from the 60s/early 70s – from jagged blues rock to soul and breezy, sun-kissed pop – filled out with fuzzy NYC personality.
That title, Here Come The Girls, could indicate some ‘come-hither-laydees’ cockiness. It doesn’t, however, opting instead for a more general sense of summer lovin’ – and the associated medley of energy, hope, angst and bliss (especially twinkly-eyed in opener When I’m With You). There are girls here, though: one girl, Isabel, is immortalised in a heart-wrenching acoustic gem (so beautifully 60s-folky you’ll feel incense and cheesecloth grow from within), while Valerie merits upbeat yet pensive, Rolling Stones-tinged treatment.
How Can I Get Through goes further back still, to a time of ukuleles and smiley people doing the Charleston at village fetes in the 30s. Or a jolly bunting-covered reconstruction in Hackney, in 2015. Inching further forward, breezy harmonies channel The Hollies, with a piano-schlomping, Southern hint of Little Feat in Bobby James. And besides the obvious Beatles parallels throughout, notes of Eric Clapton and Paul Kossoff crop up in bluesy rock numbers (check out Steady for a prize sample of this).
So, on the back of that triple-chocolate cookie of classic elements, it’s with confidence that I recommend this. A rock ‘secret’ best shared, with lots of people.