(SXSW 2014 flavoured!) Bands to Watch #282: Only Real

By on Friday, 20th December 2013 at 12:00 pm

Only Real, aka Londoner Niall Galvin, is one of the most intriguing artists we’ve heard at TGTF for quite a while. At first listen of something like ‘Punks And Potions’ (stream at the bottom of this post), the lead-off track of 2013’s ‘Days In The City’ EP now out on LuvLuvLuv Records, the almost out-of-tune electric guitars overlaid with a heavy dose of lo-fi chorusing are the kind of thing any number of bedroom crooners (and surely this *was* recorded in a bedroom) would put out. The arrangement is in no particular hurry, or of any particular convention for that matter, the second verse lazily arriving at the two-minute mark. But Only Real’s talent is to hide within these inauspicious strictures some impressively ambitious and thoughtful work.

‘Get It On’ transcends another (perhaps deliberately) primitive production; kicking off with a memorable guitar figure, the verse ambitiously utilises two simultaneous vocal lines which, like a particularly complex Scalextric layout, follow two disparate, unconnected paths until they suddenly coincide just in time to cross the finish line. The chorus is surprisingly big, and the whole is a satisfying and mature solution of the problem of how to reinvent the electric guitar song for a generation born in the ’90s. He’s also partial to a bit of a rap, and if you can get past a tendency to veer towards Jafaican at times, there’s some decent content in the flow, as exemplified by ‘Backseat Kissers’: a lovely circular groove mated to a quickfire rap which, when combined, substitute for proper singing and arrangement. Still pretty “bedom”, but none the worse for that. Overall, the combination of a naïf approach to arrangement and production, combined with a decent ear for a melody and lyrics, make Only Real a great prospect. One wonders what he’ll be capable of when he finally emerges from that bedroom…

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2 Responses

12:01 pm
20th December 2013

New post: (SXSW 2014 flavoured!) Bands to Watch #282: Only Real: http://t.co/LbsOCflsHs

[…] Read the rest of Martin’s Bands to Watch on Only Real here. […]

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