‘At The Close Of Every Day’ are two men hailing from Holland, Axel Kabbord and Minco Eggersman. In their biography, ‘ATCOED’ call their sound “the new night music”. I concur with that view up to a point- darkness aplenty pervades this, their debut collection (the title of which translates into English as ‘Blessed are the Poor in Spirit’) - but the gentle guitars, overseen by the lazy, melodic vocals, and accompanied by the sparse, militaristic sound of the drums, remind this reviewer more of idle days of youth, the sun making shadows by the banks of the stream, drinking red wine to a slow, casual stupor- In short, ATCOED’s reverberations are heavy with reminiscence. In terms of reference, perhaps their nearest counterparts, to these ears at least, are the Red House Painters, or the best bits of Low- they tread the same fragile, emotion-leaden path as Messrs Kozelek et al, lyrically revealing snatches of dark, poetic and forthright honesty that Coldplay would kill for. Favourites? All of them, although I have to say that the title track, sung in it’s native tongue, had this particular reviewer, for the first time in his life, reaching for the tissues in honour of a Dutch production that wasn’t packaged in a plain brown paper bag. Melancholy hasn’t sounded so utterly perfect and gripping in a long, long time.
I only bought this single because the boy selling it was wearing a nice stripy t-shirt and he looked very sad when he said he hadn't seen Belle and Sebastian seven times. I understood. I, too, would be very sad if I hadn't watched them seven times... I'm only telling you this so you can understand why I was surprised when I played Rain Until Monday and discovered it was exactly the sort of song I like.
It's on of those songs that make you feel you're spinning around when you're only standing in front of the record player. It makes you feel like you're riding on a carousel and going round and round... On top of this, it's got trumpets, a boy and a girl singing together and my favourite sort of pop lyrics: the sort that doesn't quite make sense and yet sounds lovely. The sort that makes you wonder if there was any reason behind those words being together in a song, or if they just sounded good together:
Rain brings sadness, sadness brings this fear
But when a baby smiles at you, you can only see a brighter day
Faith brings good fortune, good fortune brings success
When you think you've got it all you've got nothing really to expect
Needless to say I could fall in love with a band just because they sing 'faith brings good fortune'. It was about time someone said that in a song.
As for the b-side, This Song (The Autumn Chill) is apparently about Blueboy... or so it says. Then again it could be about something else starting with b and ending in boy - I'm not sure. This time the boy and the girl take turns to sing and then a harmonica takes its turn to play. It's slightly less exciting than Rain Until Monday but nice nonetheless.
I've thought about it long and hard the last two days. I've tried to decide what the Occasional Flickers sound like because you can't have a decent review without that, can you, but I only come up with quite irrelevant things: Postal Blue. Tompaulin. The Pale Fountains, but that's just for the trumpet... Swedish pop, but it's just because I've been listening to that lately... Sod it - I just suck at finding what bands sound like; but if you like that sort of thing you will definitely find Rain Until Monday worth buying.