"Laughing Now" by Green HandsReview
Out tomorrow morning will be the new single, entitled "Laughing Now" by the most exciting band to break out of Leamington in the past couple of years: Green Hands (in a weird act of synchronicity, it is released on the same day as the new HEK track: one of equivalent bands on the Coventry scene).
The follow-up to the well received ‘Another Life or Two' EP about which we informed you back in July, this track, while not directly referencing any of the Laurel Canyon based artists which Jack Telford so admires (check out their "(The Day You Found) Jackson Browne" single), it beautifully captures a style of music possibly not heard since the era in which they were at the peak of their fame.
A lustrous, shimmering track which basks a little in the haze of a Californian summer in the immediate wake of the Summer of Love, you can easily discern the love with which Jack & his colleagues (Jake Greenway on drums, James Knight on lead guitar and Ciaran Scanlon on bass guitar) have sought to channel the vibes of those times while still creating a contemporary song (the vocal is a true one: there is no attempt to emulate an American accent: a tendency which I'm afraid is blighting so many current releases by very late arrivals on the "Americana" bandwagon) concentrating on the concerns of modern living and how to negotiate it, with, if not a trace of cynicism, at least is much more wary than the optimism which prevailed fifty years ago.
The nature of the tune & arrangement provides "Laughing Now" with a jauntiness (Jake's prominent snare & cymbal work are major contributors here, along with the grooviest of keyboards & lush, subtle guitar chords) which belies some of the lyrical themes (which in its way strengthens them through juxtaposition) and drives it through at such an apparent pace (again despite the cool groove) that I had to double check the length: it has a conventional duration but feels shorter. It's these contradictions in the dynamics which not only provide much of the charm but demonstrate both Jack's playfulness and his skill in the more subtle aspects of songwriting. It's not just about good lyrics & the right chords: a sense of the history of popular songwriting (which he clearly possesses), opens up the possibilities of benevolent games to keep the audience engaged & inspired. A clever track indeed, clothed in the simple raiment of accessibility. And very radio friendly. How could you not welcome this song into your heart?