beautify junkyards

At present holed up in their secret sound bunker putting the gloss treatments to an original score for the 70’s animation film ‘fantastic planet’, we won’t deny we’ve been some what smitten and adoring of Lisbon based psyche folk alchemists Beautify Junkyards of late. Appearances via the esteemed Fruits de Mer imprint have seen them applying their ethereal bewitchment to a finite selection of familiar and more often than not – once thought and rightly considered – untouchable classics which on paper without having heard them you’d be inclined to dismiss as some sort of foolhardy whimsy (‘radioactivity’ and ‘from the morning’ are two such that instantly spring to mind). Self released and limited in nature Beautify Junkyards release their self titled debuting platter. Within sit nine carefully re-tweaked covers including that aforementioned earlier this missive version of Vashti Bunyan’s ‘rose hip November’ here aglow and beguiled in the most unreal and beautifully spectral rephrasing. An absolutely faultless set – and I mean faultless for here there’s no filler, no rush – just the sweetly arresting track by track cascade of beautified classicism pitched with such adept fragile craft that swooning faints and jaw dropped awe might well be a recreation happened upon with each repeat play. Those among you still sniffing at the fact it’s a covers set might do well to immediately fast track to the brace of nuggets found hidden here before you care to pass judgement for all said nothing quite touches both their variations of Nick Drake’s ‘from the morning’ and Kraftwerk’s ‘radioactivity’. Drake purists will – aside considering his compositions the finished work – more often the holy grail as were – be all to familiar that the author was meticulous to the point of near perfection so its with no surprise that on those rare occasions when cover versions emerge there’s a tendency for sharp intake of breath. In recent memory only Rhys Marsh and the Telescopes have managed to acquit themselves admirably and bring with them an additional small facet to the canon. In their hands ’from the morning’ is refreshingly opened up and applied with a radiant romantic lilt something though which present on the original was somewhat dulled and obscured, though now re-instated with an affectionate almost outer worldly rustic elegance. As to their re-reading of Kraftwerk’s ’radioactivity’ – you’d have to go some distance to hear a cornerstone of modern pop re-housed and relocated in such an eloquent way and here removed of its cold wave futurist hypnosis and supplanted with a chiming pastoral cortege that aside coming on like a demurring shy eyed Tunng sounds for all the world as though its vacating in the Summerisles. Peppercorn your listening space with some dainty re-evaluations of lost gems by Heron, Linda Perhacs, a remarkably homely and lovelorn re-reading of Bridget St John’s ’ask me no questions’, a touching take of Roy Harper’s ’another day’ and an exquisitely crafted sweetly lazy eyed prettified pastoral posies made up out of Donovan’s ’song for the naturalist’s wife’ and you have yourself an intimate and indelibly inscribed love note. And dare that we part without mentioning our favourite moment of the collection – an utterly beguiling and spell crafted nailing of Os Mutantes ’fuga no.2’ in our much humbled opinion worthy of the entrance fee alone. http://www.beautifyjunkyards.bandcamp.com

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