Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Random 30 2013: Stereophonics - Violins and Tambourines

For me, the music of Stereophonics is so indelibly linked with the late Nineties – in a sort of post-britpop comedown kind of way – I really hadn’t expected the Welsh band’s 2013 album Graffiti on the Train to be much chop at all. And I certainly hadn’t expected an album track like ‘Violins and Tambourines’ from a band I never really had all that much time for in the first place.

But it is what it is, and ‘Violins and Tambourines’ is – despite being overlooked as a potential single – quite probably the best track ever written by the band’s multi-talented lead vocalist Kelly Jones. It’s a song about a man seeking some form of redemption but at the same time never quite believing or accepting he is worthy of it.

It’s a common and simple enough premise, but the compelling arrangement of strings and guitar, along with a heartfelt set of lyrics, form a mesmerising whole, and ‘Violins and Tambourines’ went on to speak to me in ways I could barely have anticipated ... and just quietly, in ways that made me more than a little uncomfortable. As the best music so often does.

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