Based somewhere in the English Midlands and comprising four musicians who go by their first names only, The Musgraves is a new band (the first LP will be released in September) that’s already been noticed in the UK on account of its very distinctive sound, both musical and vocal. With Matthew handling the vocals, acoustic guitars, banjo, mandolin, and ukulele, Matt the back-up vocals, organs, the percussion, and piano, Lesley-Marie the back-up vocals, glockenspiel, mandolin, the percussion, tin whistle, and violin, and Tom the drums and percussion, it’s a group whose music seems at least in part to stem from the Appalachia of the British imagination – which must be a very interesting locale indeed. On the other hand, some numbers reprise the sound of the pop music of the late fifties and early sixties, the stuff of the high school dances of years long gone by – and yet even those who’ve come of age in the era of house music or later may find themselves dancing to this, if only they’d happen to stumble upon it.
Once the band’s album comes out, the chance of that happening should increase measurably; some passages in their own numbers and in their covers – so very different from the songs they’re based on, especially in the case of (who else?) Rihanna and Lady Gaga – will, it seems to me, soon find their way into the remixes of today’s DJs and thus go on to lead lives of their own worlds away from Birmingham, Coventry, or Worcester.
This is a band that will surely tour the USA before long.