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A Summer Tamarind

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Editors’ Notes

Martin Newell's literary interests have informed his most recent recordings. Where his '80s and '90s recordings with The Cleaners from Venus and The Brotherhood of Lizards presented a man with an absurd sense of humor and an unrestrained energy, he's layering things with greater care in the present day. He sounds more measured, less spontaneous in the 21st century. He's always remained resolutely English, as loyal to his memories as Ray Davies or Robyn Hitchcock (two artists to whom he's often compared). "Another Sunny Day" and "St. Audrey's Fair" combine for a one-two punch that show he hasn't lost his command of power pop; he's just slowing the rhythms a bit. "Mulberry Harbour" and "Stella & Charlie Got Married" pick up where the late-'60s Kinks left off. "Wow! Look at That Old Man" resonates as a personal character sketch. "You Made It Rain" strips things down for an autumnal ballad that's among Newell's finest work. The digital age has even encouraged Newell to include three bonus cuts, including the peppy power pop delight "Soldier Town."


Born: 1953 in Wivenhoe, Essex, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

One of the great eccentrics of modern English pop/rock, Martin Newell's songs are recommended listening for anyone who enjoys the peculiarly British eccentricities of Ray Davies, Andy Partridge, Syd Barrett, and the like. His grasp of the pop hook was second to few throughout the 1980s and '90s; his arrangements favor a guitar jangle but are usually infused with a whimsical eclecticism full of goofy sound effects and unusual garnishes of unexpected percussion and string instruments. His...
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A Summer Tamarind, Martin Newell
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