Martin and James: Bad Dream (ep)

~ Thursday, 15 October 2009
The duo of Martin Kelly and James O'Neill have been catching the attention of labels across Europe for some time, culminating in them signing to Vertigo/Universal music in Germany. Hailing from just outside Glasgow and now relocated to Berlin, it is a sad indictment of the British music industry that these guys were not picked up by a UK label.

They have been compared to Crowded House and Simon & Garfunkle, and it is easy to see why, but there is a lot more to them than the comparisons suggest. The 5 tracks on this ep are dreamy pop/folk all wrapped us with rich vocal harmonies and sealed with a summer twist. Opener She's Like Guiding is a stripped bare, vocal and guitar slice of bittersweet pop that plays with harmonies, both from the guitars and voices, to stunning effect.

The title track is simply wonderful. This is the type of song that the likes of Newton Faulkner and Damian Rice could only dream of writing.
You're A Window raises the tempo with its skiffle beat and repetitive guitar riff and is perhaps the weakest of the songs on offer. Things get back on track with Little Bits Of Light, which has a rockier feel to it, coming across a bit like a cross between Turin Brakes and Elbow. Things are brought to a close with the hypnotic, and best track, Devils In The Doorway. The vocal interaction between the guys here is fantastic and shows a true understanding and awareness of their craft.

Having heard quite a bit of their music, it is clear that these guys have a big future ahead of them and this is a great introduction.

www.martinandjames.com