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Single Review: The Candle Thieves – Breathing (Just for You)

By on Monday, 21st March 2011 at 12:00 pm

Okay. So it might be a bit mean to call anyone with glasses “boffin”. (To be fair, I’ve worn glasses for pretty much as long as I can remember, so I’ve been called “nerd”, “geek”, and whatever other denigrating sobriquets, so these kinds of things don’t faze me). But given that Peterborough duo the Candle Thieves make bleepy, boppy music on electronics, I think it’s fair to call them two eccentric boffins making eclectic music. This time around, they’re attempting to add their name to the ‘breathing’ hall of fame: yes, that long list of hits and misses of songs waxing philosophical about respiration. That register that includes Duncan Sheik’s ‘Barely Breathing’ (glack), the Police’s ‘Every Breath You Take’ (you know, the stalker song that gets played at weddings) and Toni Braxton’s first mainstream hit ‘Breathe Again’…

While relying more on the electronic aspect than their previous single ‘The Sunshine Song’ (released as part of their ‘Happiness Blues’ EP last year), Scott McEwan and Glockenshiels give life and emotion to their new single, ‘Breathing (Just for You)’, out today (21 March). Guitars are almost completely absent. Ironically for the Candle Thieves, I think my favourite part of this track is actually the double bass that murmurs and sings in the background, not the arpeggios of bleeps. The words in the second verse “I don’t think my words could be more than a joke to you / so I’ll never come by home” is heartbreaking, but somehow these guys manage to keep things upbeat and light with plenty of “oh oh ohs” and yes, the cheerful bleeping synth notes. There’s something very engaging about the Candle Thieves – something more than just them being two cute boffins with spectacles. You want to take them home and cook them dinner. And hope they’ll play a concert in your living room.



‘Breathing (Just for You)’ is now available from Carnival Town Records.


Album Review: The Candle Thieves – Happiness Blues EP

By on Tuesday, 14th September 2010 at 12:00 pm

The Candle Thieves are a duo from Peterborough that I’ve just discovered but from the looks of it, if you haven’t heard of them, you will soon. Scott McEwan and the unusually named Glockenshiels will be heading out on the road as support for Badly Drawn Boy next month.

In the folk/anti-folk revival of the last 2 years, there are a lot of bands that have glockenspiel in their arsenal, but check out this list of instrument the Candle Thieves list on their MySpace: acoustic guitar, glockenspiel, Casio keyboard, piano, harmonica, melodica, snare and shaker. Pretty talented pair of blokes. They might look like two geeky bespectacled dudes, but they make some great twee pop. Check out the whimsical video for the EP track ‘The Sunshine Song’ below: I haven’t heard anything so sunny since Noah and the Whale‘s ‘5 Years’ Time’.


The rest of the EP is just as beautiful. ‘Annabelle’s Song’ is a soft, gentle, almost nursery rhyme song with gorgeous piano and glock effects and is certainly worthy of being claimed as ‘my song’ by any girl who is fortunate to have been named Annabelle by her parents. ‘Balloon #2’, cut from a similar mold as ‘Annabelle’, features McEwan’s fragile yet haunting vocals. It’s enough to make one cry. ‘Paper Aeroplanes’ may have a simple melody and lack of any real lyrics, but it beats out ‘Fireflies’ by Owl City by miles. I’m pretty bummed now that I didn’t bother to see David Gray or the Scissor Sisters this year in America because I probably would have been able to see the Candle Thieves perform. Hopefully soon I’ll get another chance and see them perform these brilliant songs live.

The Candle Thieves’ ‘Happiness Blues’ EP is now available from Carnival Town Records.


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