November 14th on Village Green.
Reviewed by Francesca Baker.
I never used to particularly like female singing voices. Yes, technically sexist, but given that I’m a bona fide female, suing It’s All Happening probably won’t get you very far. Perhaps it’s because in my youth all proper rock stars were blokes? There you go, that’s some feminist foul up to go get your teeth into.
However, things change, and like Big Deal, 2:54, ChewLips and Summer Camp before them, it is Hollie’s soothingly grazey vocals that convince me to continue to listen to Mint Julep’s debut album Save Your Season, after the somewhat dozey and insubstantial open to first track to Chasing The Wine Catching The Shadow. Thankfully my commitment is rewarded, as this is an album far cooler than anything released from a composer of documentary, film and advert soundtracks deserves to be.
Eschewing the sterility of much electro-pop by stitching together a patchwork of musical genres, the debut from husband and wife duo Keith and Hollie Kenniff aka Mint Julep is a glorious exploration of tensions and torsions. Aviary is a heavy scent of a track, something simultaneously flighty yet weighty, the soundtrack to a dusky evening tinged with fear. No Letting Go (see video below) starts with a laconically cool riff that New Order would be proud off, and Cherry Radio‘s fretwork would fit into many a rock track. Rather than bitty, the collusion of genres, instruments and moods is so subtley crafted together that the overall feeling is one of a lens constantly but almost imperceptibly shifting whilst being rooted to the same eye. The interplay of emotions and complexity of instrumental conversation creates a vivid and distorted romanticism that is both strenuous and soothing. Time Is Distance is a standout, the swooping bridge tantalisingly plaited together with sparkling synths and the soothing steel vocals, the sound being one of the perfect delirium of the end of a night out.
Critics will dismiss elements of Save Your Season as bandwagon shoegaze, but anyone sensible would simply want to know where they got their trainers from, because they’re clearly pretty damn hot to look at. A compelling triumph.