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SONGS OF GREEN PHEASANT – Gyllyng Street (Fat Cat)

Posted: October 2nd, 2007, by Pascal Ansell

Songs of Green Pheasant AKA Darren Sumpner is what makes this measly company car 30k Diskant drudgery an unexpected lark. Seemingly living the sublime life; rural Sheffield artist, teacher Duncan Sumpner presents Gyllyng Street – his third release on the ever-burgeoning Fat Cat label.

Gyllyng Street expands on the now seemingly diminutive 4-track recording of his self-titled album. Twice the number of tracks were used in the mix, and it shows with the multifarious goings-on. It’s a joy to not have to listen to a nondescript ‘whole’ in a tune, and Sumpner mostly retains the attention span with all sorts of chimes, percussion and guitars (to name a few) that will please the ears. For an artist that proposes the ‘epic’-ness in every tune, this is refreshingly novel, brimful with unshakeably memorable melodies, thankfully lacking the insipidity of artists going for this same style.

Where the latter half of the album palls slightly, all this is put into perspective when considering the ineffable ‘King Friday’, the most inspiring track on ‘Gyllyng Street’. It starts off in that relatively comfortable innocuous indie/Brian Wilson fuzzy mode part of town, and then… It builds: drones, voices, cymbal tapping, then childhood chimes arrive, dark noise; a crescendo of intensity, and BLAM! The shuffling beat, the resonant chords and sultry vocal harmonies of a multi-tracking genius. One diverse musical engineering brain, releasing unexpected rapture, clinches this reviewer’s stressed head.

This album was written about the dissolute street in which Sumpner grew up by and took the name for this triumphant second long-player. It is supremely focused, an experience in motion. Buy it, listen to it, at least, for heaven’s sake, have a go with it’s zenith: ‘King Friday’. SOGP sidesteps the awful post-rock cliche of the wishy-washy epic 6-minute moment, and accomplishes the nigh on impossible. This is bona fide excellent, wholly unpretentious grandiose music.

Pascal Ansell


Pascal Ansell

Pascal is a fearsome, hungry giant trapped in the body of a hyperactive boy. On a mission to waste no more than 14 seconds per day, he bounds from activity to activity like a deer being chased by a cheetah. Follow him now, as in ten year's time he'll be a leading voice in something or other. He's also writing down every word you say in a small book so watch out!


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