Tom (Vocals / Guitar), Conny (Vocals / Keys), Clare (Bass) and Sebs (Drums) from London in England form the alt-rock band Useless Cities.
The ranging use of electric-piano gives the music an immediate space of difference and also allows Useless Cities to add depths of sounds to the output, which when combined with the two voices – which sometimes sing alone, sometimes in harmony and at others displacing from each other, equally enables them to deliver music with wide dynamic range.
It is the grounding of the drums and bass which pulls it all back to earth and gives Useless Cities their impetus, from which the guitar is able to explore the reaches between the two and the audience is left with music, that while compositionally complex, floats easily into the brain entrapping the audience on the journeys that lay within their songs.
While it must always be tempting for Useless Cities to extend the pieces into lengthy dreamy landscapes, they have, in the three songs thus far released kept them all within the three to four minute mark. It will be interesting to see if they do permit themselves to release one or two pieces that do extend far longer, as there is enough in the song-writing to be able to make for an intriguing run-out. Nothing at all is lost in the shorter pieces and with a world of minuscule attention span it makes perfect sense not to try it too often.
Formed last year Useless Cities are beginning to generate a live performance schedule along with having put out the three track single Stay. They are a quartet worth spending time to get to know and I look forward to hearing more of their music in the not too distant future.
Travel is a track wrapped in more generous electronics than material previously featured and with the two contrasting voices Russo & Weinberg are able to provide the listener with a rich seam of sound in which to lay, relaxed and comforted, nestled from the world around.
Mentioned in the previous article was their début LP, at the time in progress, Stay has now been released and is available on bandcamp. Travel is the second of the nine tracks.
Cold Wilson is a USA based collaborative project centred around Jordan Decker which you can expect to hear much more of in short order.
Cold Wilson – Stay artwork
Their first Studio release came out a few hours ago – Stay, which will form part of a forthcoming ten track LP.
An emotional introspective tale of unfolding ribbons of relationship turmoil. Stay has a chorus that will have you weeping into your coffee accompanied by a sparkling guitar chord progression which is seared into the mind and you just want to hear it on loop. But there is more to the song that the chorus and lyric, as the track which runs at just under three minutes takes the audience on a journey of water-painting.
The tempo of the piece gives the composition a fragility which adds to the context of the track and the instruments give the listener the sense they are listening to the mind whirring over loneliness and loss, whilst the percussion pulses like a palpitating heart.
The opening and closing half-line give Stay a realism and it is that brief rending lyric which, for me, really gives the piece its credence.