Updated: May 26, 2020
A few summers ago I found myself in the trad tent at Electric Picnic. Not unwillingly but I confess I wasn't expecting much more than a pleasant respite from the madness on offer elsewhere in Stradbally, Co. Laois. As it turned out The Bonny Men happened to be playing and they had other ideas. What started out as a quiet pint with some background music turned into a full-on, dancing on the tables, hands in the air, spiritual communion with the gods of dance. In other words, what we called in the 90s, a rave.
Far fetched? Consider this - lay down a super solid 4/4 rhythm from the bodhran and guitar, add in some chunky piano chords and let the fiddle, flute and uilleann pipes take it in turns to insinuate high pitched earworms into the pleasure receptors in your brain. Not too far removed in concept from what Jamie Principle and Frankie Knuckles were pioneering electronically in 1984 with Your Love and Baby Wants to Ride. Check the Bonnymen video and the drop at 2:46.
Music suits all emotions and I love sad music. But I have a notion that its primary, primeval purpose is for dancing be it trad, jazz, electronic or punk. I love dancing and I love an indie disco. And sometimes it's easy to forget that there are people still making life affirming slabs of guitar music you can dance to. Without being ironic. Think Buzzcocks, The Undertones, The Housemartins.
All of which brings me to Keith Mosfet, our newest recruit to Blowtorch Records. Keith hails from Canada with Irish ancestry and may well be the only man or woman in music to be named after a semiconductor device. He is also the purveyor of some of the most joyous slices of new wave skewed psych pop since Buzzcocks asked What Do I Get? Answer an Orgasm Addict.
His whole album Superficial Hypocrite is great. The standout for me is Where Love Will Grow. It starts with a Revolver era eastern sounding guitar hook then plunges into the heady rush of a Motownesque verse before 4 gorgeous descending chords accentuated with a backing hey! take us to lots more heys over a chorus to die for. Repeat, chuck in a Stooges worthy solo and 2 minutes 25 seconds later you're done. Thank you very much DJ, fire up The Ramones.
It's not all headrushing guitars. Love is the Only Pain That's Worth It as you might expect is more introspective and also has a timeless melody with a singalong chorus which puts me in mind of Keith's fellow Canadian Neil Young.
Like Belle and Sebastian, he has the knack of taking weighty or emotional themes and setting them to jaunty, rhythmic arrangements and making it all sound perfectly congruent. He's coming to Europe soon so check out the album and look out for dates. You won't be disappointed.