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'Secret Kids'   

-  Label: 'Song, By Toad Records'
-  Genre: 'Folk' -  Release Date: '17th October 2016'

Our Rating:
The late, great Vic Chesnutt once said that he liked the idea of using words in songs that no-one had used before. I'm guessing that Jon Rooney from Seattle feels the same way.

On Isadora Duncan, the first song on Chesnutt's debut album, listeners can revel in lines like "She closed her New Directions paperback and screamed 'there's no shelter in the arts'".

I was reminded of such inspired eloquence when, during the obscurely titled Minmae Shall Be Revealed, Rooney sings: "You look tigrish beneath those manichean curls, you wield your wand, you lord your look, you leave out your yellow New Direction book".

The word play is show-offy yet the songs are nerdy but nice. In the same song he aligns himself with true music fans everywhere when he sneaks in the line "God love John Peel".

This and the other nine songs on this wonderful record are given a full Indie band makeover of which Spooky, Stony, Barely Over Thirty is not only the best title but also the highpoint of the collection.

Rooney's stage name comes from a mistranslation of a Salvador Dali painting and he writes songs that are funny yet wise, sexy but silly.

On I Am A Bad Dreamer he recalls "I was carnal, I was careful" and makes you think all love songs should contain details like these.

He will name a song after a cult music biographer (Victor Bockris) then not sing about the author at all. Such perversity is all part of the charm.

In short, these are songs that invite reverie and revelry; tunes to be devoured whole then savoured individually.

Virgin Of The Birds' website

  author: Martin Raybould

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