Written by Patrick McNamara
The Lunchtime Sardine Club is from the singular mind of Brighton based artist Oliver Newton. He creates high-concept lo-fi field recording folk pop that is a strange joy to listen to. I have no idea what’s going on. But I like it.
Newton’s work has been compared to a happier Elliott Smith meets Grizzly Bear at their haziest meets a bit of Sufjan Stevens’ playful bombast. So that might give you a helpful starting point. But maybe not. Because this is probably unlike anything you’ve heard before. All in favor of something that sounds new, say “I!” Nevermind. I’ll say it for you. I!!!!!!
This “band’ definitely goes all over the place. Sometimes Lunchtime Sardine Club’s songs are delicate and hushed and plucked most delicately via an acoustic guitar. Other times, these songs get muddied and warbled (like when drums are replaced with a loop of knives and forks bashing a table) and sound like a slow and wobbly march towards blissed out delusion. This is a pop fever dream. Things get strange when the fever spikes. But as the fever breaks, things just get kind of pretty.
The Lunchtime Sardine Club’s bizarrely brilliant album “Icecapades” (released August 2013) feature songs inspired by the following: the death of a Mexican boxer, peyote rituals, a strange Scottish lighthouse mystery, the embalming of a dead body at a funeral home, a truck driver’s Christmas wish, accidental murder by a violent guitar pedal, and the sleepy sickness epidemic of the 1920s….to name but a few of the subject matter covered over the course of eleven songs.
You can stream this album in its entirety. Wait. I’ll post it for you. OK. There. Just did. Wasn’t that sweet of me? Helpful advice as you listen to this. Give it time to grow. Singular minds like Oliver Newton appreciate your patience. Those who stick it out shall be handsomely rewarded.
Or maybe you’ll hate it. I don’t know.
The Lunchtime Sardine Club don't have any scheduled upcoming shows - but save them to your free My Rockness account and as soon as we know the band is playing NYC - you'll know. Cool? Cool.