Stream-of-consciousness everyday ditties, adult nursery rhymes, and madcap recitations voiced to a backdrop of whimsical, toytown psych-pop, and thrashing garage-drone dischord result in a debut album of boundless originality.
Although If You Were Fruit is the Lovely Eggs' debut album, the husband-and-wife duo from Lancaster have been causing minor ripples of excitement over the U.K.'s airwaves for a couple of years now. Since forming in 2006, ex-Angelica lead singer Holly Ross and David Blackwell have been championed by a long line of BBC DJs and recorded radio sessions for both Marc Riley and Huw Stephens. And it's with good reason. The 14-track full-length, bolstered for the U.S. release with the addition of the couple's two U.K.-only EPs, is a record of boundless originality that inhabits a lo-fi soundscape where no easy shorthand labels or pigeonholes apply -- something the couple shares with its Northern neighbor from Nottingham, Scout Niblett.
On first listen, it sounds as if David has been placed in a padded rumpus room and let loose with a ramshackle collection of instruments, including a purportedly "unique" drumcycle with handlebars and a bell, stylophone, ukulele, xylophone, glockenspiel, and squealing off-kilter recorders, while Holly gives voice to stream-of-consciousness everyday ditties ("Baulk Cushion" and the catchy-as-hell "Have You Ever Heard a Digital Accordion?"); adult nursery rhymes ("Mices"); madcap recitations to a backdrop of whimsical, toytown psych-pop ("Hey There Woodsman!"); and thrashing garage-drone dischord ("America"). The more you play the album, everything clicks into place without ever completely making sense as these deceptively simple numbers begin to crack open and reveal songs of heartbreak ("Where's My Animal"), love ("Sexual Cowboy"), and loss ("If You Were Fruit"). If these eggs are cracked, let's just hope all the king's horses and all the king's men can't put them back together again.