|Beth Jeans Houghton & the Hooves of Destiny|
|Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose|
Beth Jeans Houghton & the Hooves of Destiny — Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose
→ “Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose” was created with producer Ben Hiller (Blur / Elbow / Depeche Mode). It introduces one of the most self–assured new bands of the year, fronted by a pop polymath whose blend of psychedelia, glam rock and chain gang folk is quite unlike anything else you’re likely to hear in 2012.
Born: c. 1990, Newcastle Upon Tyne
Location: Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
Album release: 6th Feb. 2012
Record Label: MUTE
01. Sweet Tooth Bird 2:12
02. Humble Digs 2:55
03. Dodecahedron 3:15
04. Atlas 4:08
05. Nightswimmer 3:44
06. The Barely Skinny Tree 4:02
07. Liliputt 4:08
08. Veins 2:57
09. Franklin Benedict 3:19
10. Carousel 3:59
→ Ed Blazey Drums, Group Member, Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric), Trumpet
→ Ian Burdge Cello
→ Neesha Champaneria Spoken Word
→ Rory Gibson Bass, Group Member
→ Sally Herbert Violin
→ Ben Hillier Bass, Drums, Drums (Snare), Farfisa Organ, Guitar (Electric), Mixing, Percussion, Piano, Piano (Thumb), Producer, Synthesizer, Synthesizer Bass, Timpani
→ Beth Jeans Houghton Artwork, Banjo, Bells, Composer, Glockenspiel, Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric), Guitars, Harpsichord, Omnichord, Organ, Organ (Hammond), Piano, Sampling, Timpani, Ukulele, Vibraphone, Vocals, Vocals (Background), Wurlitzer Piano
→ Beth Jeans Houghton & the Hooves of Destiny Vocals (Background)
→ Findlay MacAskill Group Member, Violin
→ Everton Nelson Violin
→ Ben Nicholls Double Bass
→ Ferg Peterkin Engineer
→ Mark Rankin Engineer
→ Damon Reece Drums, Percussion
→ Joe Rodgers Assistant
→ Dav Shiel Cajon, Drums, Group Member
→ Bunt Stafford–Clark Mastering
→ Bruce White Viola
→ Matt Wiggins Assistant © Credit: Kate Bellm
→ Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose introduces one of the most self–assured new artists of the year, a pop polymath whose blend of psychedelia, glam rock and chain gang folk is quite unlike anything else you’re likely to hear in 2012. Like her utterly unique stage outfits, it’s made from disparate individual elements that wouldn’t work on paper, but sing out like a holy choir in the execution. Adding muscle to Beth’s far–ranging vocals are her band The Hooves Of Destiny. Comprising Dav Shiel (drums, vocals samples) Rory Gibson (bass, vocals), Ed Blazey (guitar, trumpet, vocals) and Findlay Macaskill (violin, vocals), they’re a crack unit recruited from Beth’s native North East. Three years in the making, this album was created with producer Ben Hiller (Blur / Elbow / Depeche Mode). © Beth Jeans Houghton & The Hooves of Destiny ~ 7 by Simon Godley
By David Sheppard
→ At last, a glamorous Geordie showbiz lass that LA can understand. Twenty–two–year–old Beth Jeans Houghton grew up absorbing albums by Joni Mitchell and the ladies of the canyon and dreamed of decamping to the City of Angels. Quitting school early to fulfil her musical ambitions, by the close of her teens the statuesque blonde with a sophisticated set of pipes — equal parts Imogen Heap, My Brightest Diamond’s Shara Worden and those aforementioned distaff canyon troubadours — was an industry tip for the top with Next Big Thing practically tattooed on her forehand. In fact, Houghton’s hooves of destiny would be slowed to a canter and the shoo-in to stardom failed to materialise, mainly thanks to the protracted recording of this curiously named debut. Now, it seems, her time has finally come.
→ Brimming with galloping rhythms, vertiginous, hairpin–turn arrangements, baroque string flourishes, brass fanfaronades and soaring choirs, this never less than striking opening salvo exudes artistic confidence, if not downright chutzpah. Typically, opener Sweet Tooth Bird erupts in an explosion of martial drums, parping trumpets and, by turns, towering and witchy vocal descants which make Florence Welch sound like a shrinking violent by comparison. The chimera–like Humble Digs, meanwhile, finds room for banjos, a vocal steal from Talking Heads’ Air and a grand symphonic pop chorus that might have fallen off an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical.
→ Even when the torrential, kitchen–sink attack abates, as on the delicate, ukulele–strumming intro to Lilliput, the hurtling drums and gilded string phalanxes are soon pouring over the folky barricades, Houghton surfing the music in a delicious formation of immense overdubbed contralto harmonies.
→ The tag ‘psychedelic’, which is routinely appended to descriptions of BJH’s music, seems somewhat misplaced. Sure, corrida trumpets straight out of Love’s Forever Changes, and vivid, altered state lyrics about ‘boys with eyes of mercury’ abound, but this is music which evinces at least a passing acquaintance with Tin Pan Alley principles, and, for all its art–folk inspirations, it might have been tailored for a contemporary mainstream audience who like their mellifluous pop cut with a dash of vaulting kookiness.
Review by Heather Phares; Score: ****
→ With Goldfrapp, Polly Scattergood, and Beth Jeans Houghton on its roster, Mute has a particularly good ear for female artists with silvery voices and unconventional songwriting. While Houghton's debut Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose has just as much whimsy as the title suggests, it's not all spun–sugar fantasies (though there are plenty of those). Her voice has a richness and maturity that anchor her flights of fancy, while the carnival–chamber–folk that surrounds it adds freshness and fun. Some of the album's best songs have been around for years in the form of MySpace demos, and the fact that they sound more or less the same, only bigger and brighter, is a testament to how singular and fully realized Houghton's vision is. "Sweet Tooth Bird" opens Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose with a sugar rush of cooing harmonies, crowing trumpets, and merry–go–round melodies that sound so massive it's hard to believe the song is just over two minutes long. Previous single "Dodecahedron" sounds like a lullaby for giants, while the lovely "Nightswimmer" reveals the dark side of Houghton's fairytale world as she hopes that her lover will go out with the tide over prickly chamber pop. While some listeners might be frustrated with the sudden detours these songs take ("Humble Digs" begins as aptly homey folk before it falls down a spooky rabbit hole and gets carried away by a parade), they're more likely to be charmed by the album's gorgeous arrangements and instrumentation, which, coupled with Houghton's classically trained voice, add to the feeling that Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose is an otherworldly transmission. "Lilliputt"'s galloping tale of a free spirit balancing independence and love is a perfect example of Houghton's fondness for grand gestures, but she and the Hooves of Destiny pull off more intimate moments such as the Joni Mitchell–esque "Barely Skinny Bone Tree," just as well, reaffirming that she needs little more than her voice and melodies to captivate. Indeed, Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose is as restrained in its own way as it is vibrant; just over 30 minutes long, it shows that Houghton knows how to leave listeners wanting more.
→ Beth Jeans Houghton's first releases leaned more towards Psychedelic folk and soul, with elements of Blues, Punk and Psych Rock. However, the press's insistence on defining her as an 'anti–folk' artist, with comparisons to other female artists at the time, frustrated Houghton as she felt these comparisons bore no resemblance to her style and gave no credit to her real influences — music of the 60's and 70's, Garage, Punk, Classical, West Coast Psych etc.
→ Her artwork consists mostly of portraits, illustrations and paintings on canvas, but she tends to make use of whatever is at hand. Her style cannot be pinned down and she has displayed a love of realistic painting, comic book illustration, collage and sculpture.
→ She is a keen photographer, using both digital and film cameras. She also films and edits her own music videos using Adobe After Effects and Final Cut Pro.
→ Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose (2012) #83 UK
→ EP — June 2008
→ Hot Toast Vol 1 — September 2009
→ "Golden / Nightswimmer" — Static Caravan, 2009
→ "Dodecahedron" — Mute, 2011
→ "Sweet Tooth Bird" — Mute, 2012
→ "Atlas" — Mute, 2012
By Beckie Smith, Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, 23/02/2012
|Beth Jeans Houghton & the Hooves of Destiny|
|Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose|