The new single by East Coast Defector is the latest release in a lengthening campaign to raise the profile of the Glasgow born band. After the release of a charity EP for the Nicola Murray Foundation at the end of last year, their latest single ‘The Loneliness of the Lightspeed Astronaut’ is the precursor for the full release of the album later this year.
The rumbling, twangy bass line is highly reminiscent of early Bad Seeds or The Birthday Party, while the muffled and reverbed vocals could easily have come off a Strokes record. The chorus then, surprises you by being unexpectedly tuneful and addictive. The single takes a slightly different direction from their EP, which is of a decidedly more upbeat disposition, as is to be expected for a charity release.
The EP consists of a curious mixture of tracks. From the country style festive song ‘Xmas at Home’ (which includes a harmonica solo), to the infinitely catchy ‘Jess in a Flap’ and finally to ‘The Refection (From the East) Beach: Only Love’. The latter is a synth pop song with classic nineties drum and bass elements (or ‘synth-noodle’ as it is rather charmingly described). While being a fine piece of music in its own right, it does seem somewhat at odds with the rest of East Coast Defector’s output. The Glaswegian accent, when it comes through, adds a much-needed grassroots flavour to an otherwise placeless, nationless sound. It gives the pertinent songs a strong foundation and a sense of groundedness amidst the experimental and high-concept quality of the other tracks.
East Coast Defector tends to rely heavily on extensive intros and outros, as well as on non-musical interludes. While these are certainly interesting during the first listen, it is exactly the sort of thing that tends to grate on the ear over the course of an album. ‘Lightspeed Astronaut’ is the type of song that grows on you with each repeat. If their album follows the same vein as the single, it will be well worth a listen.