Much like the recent Karate Kid remake having next to nothing to do with karate (Jackie Chan? Kung fu? The Freshest Prince? WTF?), our vintage vinyl posts will not necessarily be “vintage”. Today’s entry harkens all the way back to April 2010. I remember it like it was six months ago. The Internal Tulips marvelously titled Mislead into a Field by a Deformed Deer grabbed us from the first time we heard it playing at Redscroll Records, Wallingford’s source for music not sold by Best Buy (http://redscrollrecords.com). The ambient lo-fi production trickery was evident from a single listen, and we apparently weren’t the only ones interested, as it took several return trips to Redscroll to finally pick up the LP. No matter the challenges in acquisition, we knew the album would be well worth the effort.
On the surface, the keyboard based songs with wisp-thin vocals throughout sound somewhat similar, though not to the point of redundancy. The ethereal nature of many of the tracks give an impression of great distance, some light scratchiness to the vinyl record lends a certain classic feel, as though this isn’t a new record, but a beloved classic spun time and time again. Closer listens bring forth a pattern to the ‘scratches’, revealing syncopated noises and rhythms that break up and often accentuate the ambient electro-folk. Such genre-bending sound makes the album difficult to classify, with country influences juxtaposed against minimalist piano work. The Flaming Lips’ recent double album, Embryonic, was described by frontman Wayne Coyne as sounding “something like if John Lennon got together with Miles Davis and they discovered a supercomputer”. I would not be far off in venturing that The Internal Tulips debut sounds something like if Brian Eno and Elliott Smith collaborated with a supercomputer.
The two sides of the record show different faces, musically. Side A features the piano-based ambient tunes that drew us in to begin with. Tracks like “Arlie” exhibit that aesthetic against multi-tracked vocals, bringing to mind the effects put to use on 10cc’s “I’m Not in Love”. “Talking Hoshizaki Blues” blends into the album’s highlight “Mr. Baby” which best emphasizes the sound/feel of the LP with its chopped up drums/guitar spliced with dialogue samples and vocal harmonies. Side B is a more eclectic cousin to Side A, with tracks such as “Long Thin Heart” showing a twangy, country vibe and ending on a high note with the lively, guitar-driven “We Breathe”.
The link below is the track we first heard that day in Redscroll Records, “Mr. Baby”. Use the comments to let us know any other albums you’ve randomly/unexpectedly discovered. We’ll be back with another Vintage Vinyl entry later this week (one that will actually be vintage).
Until next time,