Boy in the Bubble

The Muel – Bubble (The Bees Remix) [Beach Hut Records]

I do love a bit of steel drum. As an ensemble the roaming steel drum band makes for an unrivalled chirpy mess (largely due to the difficulties in recording) of competing, muffled gongs, and a particularly rich seam to mine for quirky cover versions.

Not here. The lone steel drummer of ‘Bubble’, augmented as it is with doleful vox and chilling strings, amounts to a singularly mournful sound.

Stumbling upon this when doing a bit of a dig on the Isle of Wight’s positivitist alt-psych-soul folksters the Bees, I can’t say I was instantly hooked. I went back though, and now find myself very much beached and gasping for, er, water.

Samuel Walker’s The Muel is a new one on me and this Bees retouch is no great departure, but with its stripped down simplicity, driving, whispy electronica and recurring false ends ‘Bubble (The Bees Remix)’ is a cherishable curio of pan-lead folktronica.

‘Bubble (The Bees Remix)’ appears as a bonus track on Muel Once At Everywhere [Beach Hut].

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