Album Review – ‘Felt’ by Clean Cut Kid

Once it was clarified that the album is named after the emotion and not the fabric, Clean Cut Kid have FINALLY released their debut album after two years of hard work, determination and lots of love went into the production of ‘Felt.’

Liverpudlian four-piece made up of Mike Halls, Evelyn Halls, Saul Godman and Ross Higginson create wonderous stories which last between 3-4 minutes long which are full of hope, love, feeling wanted and promoting a healthy dose of a certain vitamin. Shimmery, glistening and downright dazzling, the spellbinding vocals which are Mike and Evelyn Hall together prove that holy matrimony is much more than just marriage, the pair’s harmonies are such a divine dream to listen to, you will feel a warm little haze inside which is perfectly normal when listening to the record.

Now, the 5 F’s: The Forever Fangirl’s Favourites From ‘Felt’

Vitamin CThe song which made me realise how poignant this band are, the first ever song I heard by CCK, it holds a special place in my heart. Also, a subtle promotion for fruits and vegetables. 

We Used To Be In Love – A firm favourite among fans and so much so that it was covered on a PRIDES’ Mixtape, the chorus along will make you think of those nostalgic moments where you did love someone but you know what? You’re in a better place now, sing it out loud wherever you are!

Felt The title track of the album, this little piece of genius make you feel like floating around a wonderland garden. Taking a somewhat touchy subject of feeling brokenhearted and putting an upbeat twist using a bop-a-long guitar riff will make that heartache a little bit easier to deal with. As a friend of mine once said, dance like your heart is breaking.

Jean – A fitting tribute to his late Grandmother with lyrics such as ‘You’re in my seconds, in my minutes, in my hours, And not a single day you pass’ is completely relatable when thinking of someone you love who has passed. She would be proud of Mike’s accomplishments so far and what else has yet to come.

There are very few records which leave a lasting impression of amazement and make you feel precious, wanted and loved. Felt is one of those albums which welcomes you into Clean Cut Kid’s arms with fuzziness, a ray of light and facial hair galore. The overall question is how I felt after listening to it? A sense of belonging and at right at home.

Words by Tracey Faye McIntyre

Pronto Mama ‘Any Joy’ Album Listening Party

Since discovering them supporting Fatherson at The Barrowlands last December, Pronto Mama have been the band I have been keeping my eye on as they are destined for big things this year. Pronto Mama are: Marc Rooney (vocals, guitar) Ciaran McEneny (vocals, keyboard, guitar), one member of the rhythm section, Michael Griffin (bass)  Martin Johnston (drums) Alex Sharples (trumpet, keyboard) and Craig McMahon (trombone, keyboard, percussion.)

On May 5th, they will release their debut album Any Joy via Electric Honey Records and it’s all thanks to everyone (including myself and Nicola) who pledged through PledgeMusic to help make this happen.

With 11 days remaining on the website, they have successfully reached their target and as a Thank You, the band hosted an exclusive Listening Party for the album at the Scottish Music Centre in Candleriggs, Glasgow on Wednesday 12th April. It was an extremely intimate gathering of people (around 30 pledgers were present) and we were given the lucky opportunity of listening to Any Joy in its entirety. If the singles Arabesque and Double-Speak were anything to go by, you knew this album was going to be nothing short of sheer brilliance.

The track listing for the album is as follows:

1. Bottom Feeder
2. Cold Arab Spring
3. Arabesque
4. Rubber
5. Double-Speak
6. One Trick Pony
7. Sentiment
8. All Your Insides
9. The Deserter
10. Bully March
11. You’re Only Human
12. Bennie
13. Memory Song

You can tell from the lyrics in each song, the album is based on growing up in the East End of Glasgow, the trials and tribulations of relationships, friendships and above all else, hope. Lyrics such as ‘Hurt me one more time, I never even got to say goodbye’ from You’re Only Human and ‘You’re so intelligent, I feel irrelevant’ from Arabesque shows the raw emotion of what the band are feeling at that particular time when writing songs. Their jazzy, uptempo songs with catchy pop hooks meeting indie-rock anthems make for a pleasurable listening experience whether you’re an avid Pronto Mama fan or experiencing their music for the first time.

Bottom Feeder is a track that introduces you to the record stating giving you the indication that ‘We are Pronto Mama and this is 45 minutes of pure magic.’ The tracks get bigger and better from there with favourites Rubber and One Trick Pony making an appearance making fans extremely happy to hear remastered versions of some of PM’s classic tracks. Sentiment has become a fan-favourite at gigs with the band contemplating whether to get pished or not during the song. With no instruments and the simple clicking of fingers, it’s easy to see why people will grow to love this little gem.

Overall, if you have been highly anticipating this album, you will not be disappointed. You can tell a tremendous amount of hard work, effort and love has gone into making Any Joy and it was an absolute joy to be a part of this experience. Thanks, guys, we love you!

Catch the boys on tour over the next few months, check the poster below for dates and here for tickets. Album artwork and Tour Poster design by Paul Wilkie.

Words by Tracey Faye McIntyre