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Lightheaded in Leeds

Royal Park, Leeds
Monday 22nd July 2024

Geddy Laurance Happening --
ROYAL PARK CELLARS. 22nd July 2024 - 7.30pm
£8 Adv Seetickets and Jumbo

Lightheaded. (New Jersey, USA) Slumberland Records
Mt Misery. (Hartlepool, UK) Prefect Records
Tulpa (Leeds, UK) Bingo Records


Lightheaded are, simply, a great pop group. Their songs are full of melody and harmony, are bittersweet and memorable, familiar yet original. Their sound is a perfect mix of jangling guitars -- featuring Sara Abdelbarry’s exquisite, tasteful, but punchy Gretsch lead played over Stephen Stec's Rickenbacker chime -- anchored to singer Cynthia Rittenbach’s Hofner Violin bass, which sounds like the bass on Michel Polnareff's first LP. Cynthia and Stephen write pop songs in the classic sense, and though they are young they're already familiar with the good stuff. Cynthia wears a Gene Clark tee shirt and is a fan of Dusty Springfield, The Aislers Set, and Joan Jett. Stephen worships at the altar of Big Star, The Clientele, and The Go-Betweens. As with bands like The Aislers Set and Belle & Sebastian, you hear an aural kaleidoscope, the history of pop music and the best rock and roll, in the music of Lightheaded. What you hold in your hand now is their debut LP "Combustible Gems" - an LP about a band finding their sound, exploring notes, chords, and melody and making uncannily great music along the way. First single "Dawn Hush Lullaby" features an electric folk-pop sensibility that starts like a waltz, but goes into Greenwich Village pop time, like a sweet Norma Tanega tune. "Moments Notice" is a killer tune, rhythmic and catchy. It starts off like Motown or The Jam, but then Sara's hypnotic, hooky guitar riff takes the song some place else, shooting off into soft pop heaven, like kid siblings of the Free Design. "Hugging Horizons" is the Sound of Young New Jersey. It's soul music, but by experimenting and playing around, they have accidentally invented some sort of New New Pop. "Because of You" ends the album on a real high, featuring Johnny Marr style guitar and some gorgeous strings. It's poignant and sophisticated, but still eager, slightly gauche even. And as always refreshingly, wonderfully, naively sincere. "Combustible Gems" is a jump into the sparkling blue water, excited experimentation, exploration, finding themselves, with the effervescence of youth that makes for great debut LPs. It has the youthful urgency of Comet Gain, the wide-eyed nostalgia of early Orange Juice, the suss and anti-macho swagger of those early Pastels singles. It yearns for something, it is an exciting, stumbling, falling, laughing, charming, great pop debut.
Mt. Misery
Mt. Misery BioHartlepool’s Mt. Misery released their debut album 'Once Home, No Longer' via Prefect Records (Ex-Void, The Tubs) in summer of 2021, alongside a long since sold-out limited edition Rough Trade Exclusive LP. An EP featuring the singles ‘Spinning Top’ and ‘The Time It Takes’ was released in 2022. The band’s sophomore album is due to be released in 2024.Prefect Records label head Mark Dobson (The Field Mice): “I wasn’t looking for a ‘token’ band from the same town as me, they could have been from anywhere in the world and I would still want to put their album out. I could hear elements of The Field Mice and a couple of other Sarah Records bands in there, but also early Belle and Sebastian and peak period Teenage Fanclub - to be honest, it sounds like loads of bands I like, but without really sounding specifically like any of them."

Tulpa a superbly charming and talented noisy melodic guitar pop band from the windy city of Leeds in the UK. Get on it.

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