On the radar: Cancel the Astronauts
Play: Late In The City >>>
Of all the trumpet-blowing adjectives marketing departments choose to bestow upon their latest products, sorry, bands, 'ambitious' has to be the most regurgitated. Yet, ironically, ambition's quite often the one trait missing from the armoury of these media-savvy hipsters.
Aye, the eager young scamps crave a slurp from the garish chalice of celebrity, but can churning out ten-a-penny indie-poppery truly be classed as trophy craving intent? Simply carrying a tune is, surely, not enough when it comes to scaling the music industry's unforgiving, oxygenless peaks; there has to be, no, there needs to be something so much more.
With their sugar-pop ditties and effervescent canters, Cancel the Astronauts (CtA], thankfully, provide the perfect antidote to such contradictory aggrandising: "I think we can one day make over 100 from a gig and sell more than 4 CDs at once," decrees band vanguard Matthew Riley. "So far the most we have made is 93 in one go and the most CDs we have sold is three. So I will go with that. Step by step, little by little and that's all - as Ocean Colour Scene once sang."
Riley's lack of bravado belies CtA's sweet melodic swoon. Citing "pasty white-boy guitar pop" like wallowing miserablists The Smiths and The Cure as influences, the Edinburgh quintet have been spray-painting the city's venues with luscious sound swathes for the last six months.
Despite this spring-chicken exterior, CtA are eager to prove they're no fledgling greenhorns: "I have been writing songs for 10 years ever since I first picked up a guitar and it seemed natural to eventually play them to people," explains Riley. "We all have a passion for music and we are creative people… We all enjoy the thrill of playing live. I can't imagine doing anything else with my time and it's the same for the others too. "
CtA's debut EP, the magnificently titled 'I Am The President of Your Fanclub (And Last Night I Followed You Home)', is blushed with heavenly drifts of synth and guitar that stretch out into a dreamlike blur of gorgeous retrograde-pop. It's a sound aimed entirely skywards; bound for a destination that far outruns man's cosmonautic capacity – not that you'd know by the name, mind.
"We have no actual anti-space agenda, and given the chance I think we would all like to be astronauts - provided we'd get to fight space-aliens and blow up near-earth asteroids," says Riley. "I think the name was the least offensive we had. We thought we'd keep it until we thought of something better, and now it's too late change. We have since thought of lots of things better."
Not a band to rest on its laurels, CtA has one foot on the musical ladder and is hellbent on climbing every rung. As Riley puts it: "I don't write songs in a vacuum, and I think my influences are pretty clear. We definitely fit in to a specific musical genre, and I'm not trying to be original, just to be good!"
Now that's ambition.
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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