I think I owe the credit for the discovery of this absolute gem of an album from Ginnels to Unpopular music blog (one of the most reliable sources of new underground pop music tips and monthly mix compilations).

The striking cover image caught my eye and, upon closer inspection of the sounds via the Bandcamp page, the contents were just as colourful and attention-grabbing. Hearing this gives me the same buzz I had when I first heard Guided By Voices Bee Thousand album. Home-baked DIY jangling pop with more hooks than a Pirate convention.

So, I ended up buying the LP. With a cover & songs like this why wouldn’t you?

Jorge, from Madrid based label Tenorio Cotobade will send you the LP carefully packaged, registered mail. Turns out the world of small labels specialising in underground pop is small. He loves Dunedin, NZ jangle-popsters The Prophet Hens and wants to know if that is available on vinyl (it’s not). He also knows of Males from their ill-fated Manic Pop! Records single non-release… which Dunedin label Fishrider Records is rectifying shortly with a 9-song mini-album/ double-EP (on 12″ 45 rpm vinyl) of existing and brand new material, called ‘Run Run Run/MalesMalesMales’. And he loves Trick Mammoth too. Yes, the International Pop Underground is still alive & well.

Ginnels recordings appear to be the work of just one person – Mark Chester. The songs are perfect and infectious, and the sound of the tape-recorder (or whatever these were recorded on) being switched on at the start and then off at he end of songs adds an almost voyeuristic intimacy to the collection.

I’d write some expository words of my own but they’d end up being a re-write of these from the Bandcamp page, so… here they are:

“Plumes” compiles a selection of tracks from Ginnels’ three releases so far plus other online-only tracks, and it’s the first time these songs are available on vinyl. They were all recorded and mixed entirely in Chester’s living room, built up from layers of guitars, vocals, “cheap keyboards and other assorted detritus”.

The approach and sound recall the wonderful jangle pop legacy of the Flying Nun label, Crooked Rain-era Pavement and Elephant 6 bands like The Apples In Stereo. Over the whole album, from fast-paced tracks such as ‘Heathwaite Wood’ and ‘Great Fall’ through to more minimal, reflective moments like ‘Friends Are Dead’ and ‘Champs’, Chester’s knack for delivering really strong, memorable melodies never fails to shine and astonish.”

Yes, indeed.

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