Gramercy Arms – Gramercy Arms

Super groups are always a bit of a worry. Countless examples exist of collaborations that just don’t work, are generally pointless, don’t add up to the sum of their parts or perhaps the worst of all evils: just try too hard. Thankfully Grammercy Arms, a group comprising members from Joan as Policeman, The Dambuilders, Guided Voices and naughty comic Sarah Silverman, sounds more like a friendly jam session than a fiercely important NY collective.

The album comprises 10 pop songs, some of which have an almost west coast feel. The longest track (appropriately named moving slow) is only just over 3 and a half minutes long, but as with the other 9 is carefully crafted and does not seem rushed or overly produced. Clocking in at 30 minutes the album length fits the laconic stylings perfectly and is a nice antidote to the self-important British pop that’s doing the rounds at the moment.

The only bum note is the first track, Automatic, which stands out from the rest of the album and seems a strange choice for an opener.

Lush choruses, a wonderfully laid-back approach and carefully controlled beats and handclaps add up to a glorious whole though and the simplicity of this album shines through to the point where you forget about the individuals and concentrate on the band. What better endorsement can there be for a collaboration?

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