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Braden Blake | A Year In Pyjamas (Embryo)
There must be something in the air in Seattle, or maybe it's the cake from that place in Fremont, (they must have a secret ingredient mixed in the white chocolate and strawberry gateau). Whatever it is, it does the trick, for here we have another popster from the Emerald City.
Bounding in like the Byrds on a good day, Espris De Corps spangles like Puget Sound in the sunlight. The voice sounds familiar to me... The music is sweetness and light and the person behind it is clearly a dab hand at this sort of thing. Big Star waft in for Under My Wheels and I'm checking the sleevenotes for a Posies mention. Nope, none there. She Hasn't Left Me (Yet) skips along and I feel I should know this man, he's too good at this, Jason Falkner, eat your heart out. I let it slide, momentarily unconcerned as Dear Paramour flows by, as sweet as pie. But then Laid hits home and I have to know. A quick look at his website... ah, Super Deluxe, those shining stars of power-pop from the late '90s. That explains it and I feel a whole lot better armed with this knowledge; no wonder he's so darn good. It's also fortunate I knew his identity before Murder Me Merry, or else I might have burst with curiosity. Coming across part Robyn Hitchcock, part Beatles, oh, he sure writes songs like the beautiful people. Brian Wilson gets a name-check on One-Way Trips and it's understandable, there is a Pacific sound here, although several hundred miles north from the Beach Boys. One Of Those Things waltzes out of the room, sounding like Elliott Smith as it twirls, dips and shimmies around the floor, sweeping you up and gliding into the evening with a light kiss goodnight.
Braden Blake may spend a year in pyjamas, but I bet they belong to the cat.

Laurence Arnold
March-April 2004