Gemma Fleet,Dearbhla Minogue and Marion Andrau are bewitching trio The Wharves. The new album Electa, their second, looks sure to make best of lists at the end of this year. Assured, eccentric and charming, it fuses a variety of styles to immense effect, wrapped around dizzying harmonies and frenetic drumming.
‘Who ya fooling?’ they demand on stamping psych opener The Strike, which is as defiant an anthem as you may hear all year. It’s unwieldy, yet somehow utterly focused, and there is a sense of a signature style even as the different genres meld together. Essentially, it’s like chili and chocolate- shouldn’t work, but is a gorgeous combination.
So if L’Autre feels like languid dream pop, John The Stretcher is a crunchier folkier proposition- as if Cocteau Twins had gone into darker, Wicker Man territory. Rays of Light is like early Lush covering a Haight Ashbury era song, with an autumnal tang- the sun may be shining, but there is a pagan chill in the air.
Absolutely gorgeous, a little proggy, and slightly bonkers in the best sense of the word- they are well on their way.No fooling.
On tour across Britain.
Electa is released on November 4th on Gringo Records