Sunday, 13 March 2016

Soft Hearted Scientists – Uncanny Tales From The Everyday Undergrowth

Long out of print debut gets reissued with previously unheard demos! Pulp meets Pink Floyd for a peppermint tea!

I came across Soft Hearted Scientists ashamedly late, around the time of their fourth long-player Wandermoon, a lovely album that still offers fresh insights with each listen. A further two albums, both equally rewarding, have since followed and the band are now tantalisingly close to releasing their seventh - Golden Omens. Until then we can content ourselves by checking out where their journey started.

As with most bands there's something special about first albums, those records that somehow capture the initial flurry of ideas and enthusiasms and can be almost manifesto like in terms of setting down a band's identity. Such is the case with Soft Hearted Scientists' Uncanny Tales From The Everyday Undergrowth, their debut album from 2005. Critically acclaimed on it's release, it's long been out of print but is now getting a release on The Hip Replacement label. Along with the original record this reissue comes with a second disc containing demos of the songs on the album.

It's reassuring to find that the band's trademark mix of gentle and quirky melodies mixed with garden shed experimentalism was present at the get-go. The band describe their sound as kitchen-sink psychedelia, citing The Beach Boys and (perhaps more importantly) Oliver Postgate among their influences. Kitchen-sink psychedelia is pretty much bang on the button but I'd also propose the album is akin to Pulp meeting Pink Floyd to put the world to rights over a peppermint tea. An album of lovably eccentric songs with a softness of heart at their core. If you're new to the band start your journey here.

Clickhere for Soft Hearted Scientists' website.