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ALBUM REVIEW – The Salient Braves “Delusions of Grandeur”

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The Salient Braves
Delusions of Grandeur
Broken Down Records

After three EPs, well-received by those in the know, Barnsley indie pop outfit The Salient Braves return with their debut album on vinyl. Backed with a crowdfunding effort, it was released on September 22, 2017 by Broken Down Records. It’s a treat for the ears once again, marrying great melodies and guitar pop with songwriter Matt Bailey’s lyrical wit.

The gritty cover art and tracklist suggests there’s more of the familiar theme of social injustice. There’s clever wordplay on everything from depression and mental illness to addiction and domestic violence, but you wouldn’t necessarily take notice at first. Trademark harmonies, chiming guitars, and brass are at the forefront of the songs. Standout track “They Must’ve Seen Me Coming” in my opinion, is destined to become a classic indie pop tune.

The album is given musical balance with the dreamy My Alter Ego. And on the somber but stately Bangkok (think McCarthy) there are gorgeous strings laced throughout, but you soon find out that a relationship found on holiday doesn’t end well for him. The record finishes with the aptly titled Evening All (Satchmo’s Song). It starts off with a simple bass and piano, with the song continuing to build until Matt reads off a list all that Louis Armstrong did not get right with the world. Pure genius.

Thankfully, as I’ve stated before, The Salient Braves continue to wear their influences on their sleeves. This is one of the year’s finest releases, if done so with little fanfare. You’ll want to add this to your record collection and file it alongside the likes of The Wedding Present, The June Brides, The Brilliant Corners, The Smiths, you get the idea. A record that harks back to the golden era of indie pop but remains relevant in today’s complicated world

Broken Down Records: https://brokendownrecords.bandcamp.com/album/delusions-of-grandeur
Bandcamp: https://thesalientbraves.bandcamp.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/salientbraves/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/salientbraves

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A native of California, a wife and mother of two, Esther can be found escaping onto Twitter as @myrtleleaf to tweet about music, a life-long passion. She still mostly lives in the past. ________________________________________________________________________________

Thank you to Esther for a another wonderful review.

Watch out for further reviews, whether it’s re-issues or new releases. If you would like to review something yourself, you know where to find us.

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Meet The Community – Tracy Kidner

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Here we divert our attention away from the artists and bands and shine a light on some of those individuals whose contributions in our social media world have been an invaluable source of musical joy. By asking a series of 10 questions we want to get inside the mind of a selected community member and understand their indie DNA.

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Those of you on Twitter will be more familiar with Tracy as @Perlalaloca and will therefore know she is a regular fixture in our world. She has refereed The IndieOver40 Cup and was also a guest judge for the 30 Years Of Indie Albums feature exercising her duties in both with due diligence and humour (and all whilst looking after a young family). Our HR file on Tracy is marked “reliable”.

If you didn’t know (we do because it’s our job to know) Tracy’s Twitter moniker comes from the Jaime Hernandez Love & Rockets alternative comic book series. We also know that Tracy is a teacher in that real world that exists outside of indie.

We really wanted to get inside the indie-ness of Tracy so without further ado let’s meet Tracy Kidner

1) Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Tamworth. I didn’t fit in. Once I got threatened for being a tattooed girl who drank pints. Julian Cope ran away as soon as he could. Good advice.

2) What first got you into “indie” music?

Truthfully, my first love, who leant me his vinyl copies of the Smiths, The Cure, Pixies, The Mission, the Darling Buds and did me mixtapes of The Clash, the Jam, Buzzcocks & The Wonder Stuff, who were new local heroes.

3) What was the first “indie” record you bought?

Do we include Depeche Mode as indie? I loved Depeche Mode, Erasure, Pet Shop Boys, Yazoo. I think the first genuinely indie record would have been The Sundays Can’t Be Sure, after catching a bit on The Chart Show’s indie chart and hunted it down for WEEKS after, scouring Birmingham and Tamworth. I don’t think I can describe how that felt, getting my paws on it finally, and playing it over and over and over and over…

4) What was your favourite record shop?

Andy’s Records in Aberystwyth. I went to university there in 1989 and remember buying one vinyl LP every couple of months, The Wonder Stuff’s Hup, Carter USM’s 101 Damnations, Kristin Hersh’s Hips & Makers, Belly’s Star. So many important records. My ex got one of the original pressings of Tigermilk by Belle & Sebastian there. Dammit.

5) What music magazines did you read?

Smash Hits! I was a bit in love with Neil Tennant even before he joined the Pet Shop Boys. I still have the clipping where he left and they mocked him, saying he’d soon be back after going “down the dumper”! Then NME and Melody maker (always both. always) and then Select, which I LOVED. All those brilliant massive posters. I once put a personal ad in the back of Select. Crikey, the replies were…interesting…

6) What was your first “indie” gig?

The early 90s are a bit of a blur *cough-cidernblack-cough* My first gigs were both Erasure, but after that it’s a blur of Carter USM, The Wonder Stuff and Voice of the Beehive, who dedicated a song to me for slapping a bloke who kept heckling them to “Get your t*ts out for the lads”.
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7) What was your most memorable “indie” gig? And why?

Two stand out. I “met” my now-husband online after posting a music lyrics quiz. He got the most right and then corrected me on a Carter lyric! When we met in person we realised we’d spent the 90s criss-crossing the midlands at the same indie gigs. We got chatting about a Carter gig at the Hummingbird and he said he’d not had a great time because he’d had a broken leg. I remember vividly SMILING at some poor soul at the bar that night because I felt sorry for anyone not able to mosh at a Carter gig! So I smiled at my future husband 10 years before actually meeting him.

The other was my 33rd birthday, Belle & Sebastian at Tokyo’s Shibuya AX, where we got to dance onstage with the band during Dirty Dream #2. Pretty memorable!

8) What 3 “indie” albums would you take to a desert island?

ONLY THREE! Evil.
Belly – Star
The Smiths – The Queen is Dead
Pixies – Doolittle

9) What “indie” band/artist would you most like to meet?

P J Harvey. She’s unique.

10) What one song defines your indie-ness?

I know someone who’d say Echobelly’s Great Things, but I’d like to say Kenickie’s Punka. If punkas ever do grow up…


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A huge thank you to Tracy for taking part. Hope you enjoyed this insight into the indie-ness of Tracy.

You could be next.

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