Joe Kane is a well kent face and voice from the Glasgow music scene through his work in bands like The Owsley Sunshine, Dr Cosmos Tape Lab and also with Them Beatles.
Kane introduced his new outfit The Radiophonic Tuckshop back in the summer with an EP of psychedelic pop and he now returns with a 14-track Christmas album titled The Winter Garden Playtest.
Playful melodies, humorous observational lyrics and upbeat vibes (most of the time) are spread throughout the album.
The title track is lysergic instrumental that is rather gorgeous. Probably my favourite song on the album - little riffs and melodies collide or are layered quite beautifully. This is one of the most stunning pieces of music I have heard all year. Kane is capable of moments of genius - this is one of them.
The Summer That Never Was is another beauty. Humour is never far away, Secret Santa is rhymed with Gin and Fanta.
The Guy In The Grotto gets better as it goes on, all about someone taking on a Christmas job and being thoroughly depressed - not only through his job but also losing his love.
Didn't I give you everything?
To throw it all away is such a sin
The imaginative and experimental side of Kane comes through on The Star Factory, it's quite beautiful, I love when he does this kind of thing.
Quiet genius at work
Kane can create melodies with ease. They are liberally sprinkled across the album when they hit the mark, they really they hit the mark - like on Runaway Rudolph
Rudolph please come home
I didn't mean to make you feel alone
Santa's got a message for you
The subsequent flowing section with kind of choppy vocals is just brilliant. Kane knocks this kind of thing off in his sleep - he is a melodic genius.
Dubious origins has Joe taking the piss out of himself and it also questions the origins of Christmas. Head Frost is another winner - just so playful, imaginative and instantly likeable.
The Festive Thought that closes proceedings in a kind of Scotch and Wry manner, highlighting that he wrote and recorded the album in 3-weeks and thanking everyone involved - himself!
The Winter Garden Playtest is the sound of someone having fun creating music, melodies and lyrics. It is daft at times, very observational and it has those special moments that Kane has the talent to find and when he hits the sweet spot he really does hit the sweet spot.
You can stream the album on Spotify, download from iTunes and various other places or order a Ltd CD from Last Night From Glasgow's website.
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