Goodnight And I Wish - Goodnight And I Wish

It hits the target more than it misses and deserves recognition for the quality of the writing on display.

Delve through most people’s record collections, and you’d expect to find a mish mash of the sublime, the ridiculous, and the downright embarrassing. Dig through a musician’s collection and, while you would expect the same breadth of genres, embarrassing would be replaced by surprising. Who’d have guessed Noel Gallagher was mad for ‘Straight Outta Compton’? This partly explains why side projects are so interesting – shorn of the shackles tying them to their primary group, it’s fun to see what exists at the outer reaches of their tastes and influences.

It’s certainly not hard to work out what Brandon Jacobs listens to in his down time. By day, drummer of the freakbeat inspired Neil’s Children, his solo project Goodnight And I Wish inhabited a far more challenging and innovative space, especially on 2009’s ‘A Ruffled Mind Makes A Restless Pillow’. This new, self-titled EP heralds another sea change however, casting its eye back to the British Invasion and the Summer of Love, in thrall to the power of melody.

“All I ever wanted to do / Was lay in the sun” opens lead single ‘England’s Never Looked So Good’, and you could do a lot worse than stick this on to do just that. From the sweet and simple acoustic ditty ‘When You Came To Stay’, to the shimmering chorus of ‘Witch Doctor’ bursting through a psychedelic haze, all six tracks scream “SUMMER!” The addition of Kelly Thomas allows for some gorgeous harmonies and gives Jacobs someone to spar with, adding an extra gloss to the brightness.

At times, ‘GAIW’ does lean on its influences a little too heavily. The opening of ‘I Spy’ is clearly borrowed from New Order, whilst the Ray Davies-styled strummer ‘Oh, What A Day!’ pilfers a template that even the likes of the The Fratellis wore out a long time ago (most notably on ‘Whistle For The Choir’). More successful is closer ‘Come Home’, a Belle & Sebastian-on-valium brooder with Thomas doing her best Sarah Martin impression – that she pulls it off with aplomb is indicative of the EP. It hits the target more than it misses and deserves recognition for the quality of the writing on display. Back to the day job then, but hopefully this won’t be the last foray into Jacobs imagination to see the light of day.

Tags: Reviews, EP Reviews

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