Cultural Bulletin
Cultural Bulletin is a quarterly magazine that provides an international view of creative work. We look to film, music, design and art as signifiers of our cultural moment.

In Review: Never - Never

Label: Jolly Discs

Jolly Discs present Never’s Never, a very well curated series of 7 tracks released on tape and digitally by label co-founders Guy Gormley and Rory Gleeson and co-written by Guy Gormley and Sam Bardsley. It’s a record that manages to sound both considered and playful. There is a distinct appreciation for pop that plays out like a genuine experiment with, and appreciation for, aspects of the genre. It never connects with elements of pop/RnB with an Eno like Britishness - a feature that is further enhanced by Bardsley’s similar absence of vocal vibrato and patterned delivery.

This is music that goes down very easily, it is smooth and pleasing to the ear, blending instrumentals with vocal driven tracks in a way that is reminiscent of the 1970’s Japanese greats, Yasuaki Shimizu and Haruomi Hosono. Also similarly, the tracks hold an openness and curiosity which sounds directed by the music as opposed to a preconceived outcome. As a consequence, they are not formulaic which further contributes to an infectious air of experimentation and playfulness, permeating through the release. The lightness and short running time (21:37) could see Never glossed over as somewhat of a minor release, but, it’s one that will guarantee to get under your skin and once it does, it is extremely moreish. The opener ‘Submission’ has a percussive aliveness to the drums that is akin to John Cale's Artificial Intelligence, whereas ‘The Park’ holds shades of Wire.

This myriad of comparisons isn't intended in anyway to diminish what is surely an original work, but instead an attempt to address Never’s sounds and styles that hang so well together. AG

Buy a copy of Never - Never on Jolly Discs Bandcamp by clicking here.