Into Album Review: James Redmond – Video City II
Artist: James Redmond
Album: Video City II
Label: AV8 Records
This is a wonderfully eclectic miasma that filters the best of 20th century psych in all its glorious variations and spits it out into something that feels distinctive, personal and cohesive. The diversity on display is impressive as it takes in Hip-Hop, acoustic pop, and soundscapes as well as widescreen Giallo soundtracks – and that’s just on the first few tracks. On paper this shouldn’t work but it’s clearly been put together by someone with a huge love of music – and a hugely diverse record collection – that somehow ends up sitting somewhere between an expertly curated mix-tape and a unified singular vision. This means that what easily could have sounded like a compilation of random musical ideas is nicely distilled into fully formed consensus by its uniformed textures, instruments and overall feel. Feel is a really important word here, as the album resounds in emotions.
The songwriting is impressive too. We’ll Go Racing is perfect Psych-Pop, Emerald Hills is a lovely country stomp, and on the more outré side of things, we have ominous spoken word excursions over dark ambient analogue sweeps, kind of like a Scouse Frankie Teardrop. It’s nice to hear Redmond’s former Tramp Attack bandmate (and Zutons singer) Dave McCabe appear, as well as a cameo from James Skelly of the wonderous Coral.
If you like an unusual take on psychedelia then this is an incredibly inventive, lo-fi excursion that’s brimming full of unusual ideas, sounds, songs and strangeness. Each of these descriptions is normally a standard checklist for me and this ticks them all off. If that’s the same for you then you’ll love this.
Video City II by James Redmond is out on AV8 Records