Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Can You Keep A Secret? Review

The Birthday Kiss
Can You Keep A Secret? / Worth It
Death Party Records

In a recent interview Ben Siddall, instrumentalist and songwriter for The Birthday Kiss, described the band as “a bit of and Indie Supergroup”. Whilst I am sure that he had his tongue pretty securely in his cheek when he said this what cannot be doubted is the pedigree of the band. 

The Birthday Kiss are made up of the aforementioned Ben Siddall, formerly of The Lodger and Sarah Williams former vocalist with The Research. Both bands hailing from sunny West Yorkshire. 

The first track Can You Keep A Secret? runs in at just over three minutes and introduces itself with galloping drums and simple guitar before bursting into life with Sarah’s sweet and timeless voice. The song is beautifully crafted and realised, kicking into a joyous crescendo with the horn-accompanied chorus and a drum roll to die for. 

Worth It carries on in the same vein. A punchy, tight, wonderfully produced and written song with a chorus, carried again, by an exquisite vocal performance and production.   

Both songs are of a type and capture the spirit of those big sounding mid 60’s classics. You know the ones, where a “girl” singer with a pure and powerful voice (think Petula Clark or Sandie Shaw) gives full throat to a well written and crafted song (think Downtown or Always Something There To Remind Me). These songs, however, are far from being 60’s throwbacks. The sound the band produce is reminiscent of that era rather than aping it and both songs are of such quality and the execution so perfect that they comfortably stand on there own merits. 

In the interview referenced above Ben states some of his his current influences as being, Italian Disco, XTC, early House and Kraftwerk. I can’t say that any of these influences are detectable here so maybe these two tracks give a taste of the talent on show rather than indicating The Birthday Kiss’s direction of travel. Either way I will be listening out for their next offering. 

The Birthday Kiss will be playing Wharf Chambers, Leeds on 5th April and I cant wait to see how well they do this stuff live.

Karl Shore

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