Spanish charmadillos Wild Honey have produced a truly beautiful album: fantastical melodies and schoolroom instruments accompany gentle, nostalgic storytelling that somewhat resembles the best bits of Belle and Sebastian.
The quiet, lullaby quality of ‘The Big Parade’ – plinking, plonking, tinkling, half-whispered lyrics and children’s toys join soothing harmonies – transports the listener to a world of sunshine, riverbanks and gentle breezes.
Elsewhere ‘Hal Blaine’s Beat’ has a flute melody that sounds as if it’s been lifted off a Carpenters track, juxtaposed with a stomping bass line and a good dose of recorder playing. (They list the Carpenters as one of their key influences, the stars).
Over the course of this supreme album, the charmingly accented English of Guillermo Farré guides us across meadows full of crickets, scurrying up trees with scabby knees and encountering WW2 soldiers in hiding, and each experience is depicted with delicacy and imagination in spades. It’s an eclectic, romantic journey that leaves the listener a little lighter of woes, a lot richer in smiles.
The cherry on top of this cupcake of joy is, without doubt, the fact that Wild Honey make their recordings free to download (the hard stuff – CDs, LPs and the like, are beautifully produced and highly available, so those of us who still like to collect physical wonders still have that option).
Joy truly is unbounded, in this particular case.
Words: Helen True