It’s a familiar tale. Those advance singles have flown off the shelves of the connoisseur’s record shop and into the collections of the cognoscenti. The buzz is passed from hipster to hep-cat, from b-boy to scenester. ‘Big things’ are forecast for this year’s geniuses as the wait begins for that inevitable album release. The Superimposers debut album ticks all those well-worn PR boxes, and more. But guess what? This time you can, can, can…believe the hype.
First things first though. The Superimposers is a work of bits ‘n’ pieces, a compendium of the bulk of those E-Bay-precious singles that have already cemented their rep. As such, it speaks of an assortment of times and places, and is in want of a unifying style. But, if this record is a pointer of things to come, this band’s odds ‘n’ sods are another’s cornucopia.
Hard to believe from the layers of sounds, samples and effects, but give or take a bass-line here and there, The Superimposers is the work of just two. West-Country boys Dan Warden and Miles Copeland (not that one) switched residency to London from Dorset, and it’s a combination of big-city confidence and a nautical yearning for another place that characterises these songs (Check ‘head turn starboard side / pull in the line / chasing the tide’ from Chasing The Tide).
Equally at home with ‘real’ instrumentation as with various digitalia, the duo bear inevitable comparison with Air. But whereas a track like Rainbow may share a sense of beatific awe with Dunckel and Godin, these are tracks of distinctly British singularity. Not the chest-beating variety that we’ve become accustomed to over these rock ‘n’ roll years, but a variant that assimilates and transforms, melding disparate elements into a brand new whole.
Sure, influences abound, and occasionally these over-step into at least partial steals (particularly Dan Warden’s Steve Mason soundalike on Would It Be Impossible and The Lovely Sky Boat). And were The Beta Band, Thievery Corporation, World Of Apples, Shack and John Barry ever to lock horns and jam, the results might sound very much like this. Although possibly not as good.
The first four singles head off the album. Over The Bridge is a lysergic plea of humility married to effortless glide, the ecstatic surrender of “If it were all left up to me / You know I couldn’t face it / I’m a back street country boy” impossible to resist. Seeing Is Believing rides on a wave of pure Brit-psychedelia, but ditches that era’s self-indulgent noodlings for the pursuit of pure melody and cinematic breadth worthy of David Axelrod.
Though everything from Trust Me through to Shadows are flip-sides, the on-spec buyer will find no disappointing filler. Chasing The Tide and hidden track Sway are as fresh as Arnold Schwarzenneger, and keep that all-important quality control at the high water-mark.
Though Psychedelics are as much a constant as the sailing metaphors, rococo studio effects are used primarily in the service of tune enhancement rather than after-thought. As such, many of the songs on The Superimposers continue to give out their secrets spin-after-spin. Best of all is that one is left with the distinct impression of even better things to come.
As Ian Dury once said “there ain’t ‘arf been some clever bastards. Lucky bleeders, lucky bleeders”