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Penny Arcade

Backwater Collage

Regular price £28.99
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Release Date: 03/05/2024

Hailing from a place of ancient mariners' secret coves and vast moors beaten by the wind and rain, Backwater Collage is James Hoare's first solo...

Hailing from a place of ancient mariners' secret coves and vast moors beaten by the wind and rain, Backwater Collage is James Hoare's first solo album under the name of Penny Arcade.

 Despite leaving London for the West country he grew up in, the Englishman is no stranger to the scene. He has been wandering around as if awakened from a long, not-so-peaceful sleep for some time now. You have most probably come across his washed-out blue eyes several times, in projects including Veronica Falls, The Proper Ornaments and Ultimate Painting.

 For this dreamy, hand-stitched record, Hoare has taken his time. Maybe because he had to rescue his songs from various recording sessions tinged with a number of mishaps he amusedly admits he is accustomed to: broken multitracks, failing tape machines, rarely available drummers living in the capital. The eleven intimate and solitary songs which make up the album, delivered in the greatest home recording tradition, are nonetheless cautiously produced.

James unfurls pure, uncluttered melodies in which his gentle, melancholic voice mingles with smooth, warm vocals by Nathalia Bruno. Barely saturated guitar solos sometimes disrupt the clear, unpolished musical line. Hopping onboard, longtime friend Max Claps has added keyboard parts which manage to embrace the minimal nostalgia of the tracks while preventing any teary pathos. Similar to Jack Name or Syd Barrett – only less psychedelic – in terms of songwriting and stripped back atmosphere, Hoare is sitting on the Velvet Underground's black-and-white sofa and gives his album a subter- ranean feel. At times restless but light-footed, deprived of any unnecessary effects, the record follows in the steps of a less noisy but just as raw and unadorned Jesus and Mary Chain. 

With Backwater Collage, alone at the helm under a stormy sky, James Hoare invites his listeners to settle in the sheltered comfort of a cup of tea.

A1) Jona
A2) Don’t Cry No Tears
A3) Want You Around
A4) Dear John
A5) Prodigal Son
A6) When The Feeling Is Gone
B1) Black Cloud
B2) Mr. Softie
B3) Dennis
B4) Garage Instrumental
B5) One More

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