Amelia’s Magazine | Spectrals, Dreamy Rock and Roll: Music Review and Interview

Spectrals by Matilde Sazio

Louis Jones illustration by Matilde Sazio

Yorkshire right now is covered in snow. Its rocky walls, pill white capped, its sheep bleeting in the wind. “Bahhh”. Very picturesque, perfect for the nostalgic Victorian Christmas we’ve never seen. Hark! What’s that I can hear? Californian sounding guitar strumming, muffled notes, twinkly idealism? It’s like suddenly I’m on a balmy beach in the 60s with my good friends, Bruce and Summer. Splendid…splendid indeed. Who is this?

Spectrals Melanie Mac

Illustration by Melanie McPhail

It’s the Spectrals, a chap from Yorkshire called Louis Jones. Brought up on a collection of 60s and 70s soul, Motown and doo-wop, alongside elements of garage rock, he’s created an amalgamation of genres in his bedroom. Essentially I would say Jones’ music is dreamy and rock and roll. A perfect antidote to sitting on your squidgy sofa with your pastry pies and chocolate cocktails washed down with warm wine. His voice sounds faintly tinny, old school and a whole world away from seasonal affective disorder. Let’s just for a second, remember what summer is… And now, what it is/could be like to live by the sea… yep, invigorating thoughts.

California by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Originally from Heckmondwicke, West Yorkshire, Jones was in his first band aged 15. He used to record in his bedroom with his brother on drums, but now he has a professionally recorded album; Extended Play on Moshi Moshi Records. Recorded completely on analogue in a local studio, it sounds fresh and yet blurry. Reminding me of watching bands when I was 17, around pubs in Brighton and the countryside’s nether regions. It’s The Sea and Cake, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Arctic Mokeys, Wild Beasts and Beach House. All a tiny bit off note and rolled up in a colourful knitted ensemble. It sounds very American immersed on the first listen, but then as you continue to surf about the room, it is much drier than Californian shiny pop, it’s harder, more pithy and actually, very English.

I caught up with Louis Jones fresh from his tour with Best Coast and asked him a few questions about his music.

Spectrals by Liam Henry 1

Spectrals, photography by Liam Henry

Your music has a definite Californian glow to it. Where did you get your surfy sound inspiration from?
I realised that “surf” music was going to be really “cool”, so I made some songs with that kind of sound so I could be rich.

Which artists particularly influenced you?
The Ronettes, The Everly Brothers, Diana Ross, Elvis Costello,
The Caravelles, The Style Council, The Manhattans, The Royalettes, The Isley
, stuff like that.

What would you say the music saying to its listeners?
I don’t want to say anything to the listener, the lyrics in the songs are
just about how I feel about a girl.

Do you think the 60s/70s music is preferable to now?
There’ll always be good music and there’ll always be rubbish music.

What does Yorkshire mean to you?
Yorkshire doesn’t mean anything to me, I was born here and it’s convenient
to stay here for now. I’m into both of those.

Who are you touring with at the moment
I just got back off tour with Best Coast, I love them.

Have you done any song writing whilst you have been on tour?
No I never seem to have time.

What is your inspiration for your lyrics?
Emma Watson out of Harry Potter

What is your favourite way to spend a day?
Doing nothing or recording.

Where is your favourite place in the world and why?
I don’t have one!


Spectrals, Extended Play on Moshi Moshi records

…This flippant, liberated attitude comes across in Jones’ music. He mixes the surf guitar, psychedelia and rock, before mottling the picture with glimpses of the English, trapped underneath in the exposure, adding a multi faceted quality to the Spectrals. Extended Play has got youth, attitude and style, without coming across as if it ever intended to produce such attributes.

Categories ,Beach House, ,Best Coast, ,Diana Ross, ,Helen Martin, ,Liam Henry, ,Matilde Sazio, ,melanie mcphail, ,Moshi Moshi Records, ,Spectrals, ,The Beach Boys, ,the beatles, ,The Carravelles, ,The Everly Brothers, ,The Isley Brothers, ,The Manhattans, ,The Ronettes, ,The Ronnettes, ,The Sea and Cake, ,The Style Council

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