Review 8: Black Partridge

Posted on November 2, 2011


I hope this is fan art, not album art.

So. Obsessed. So, so so obsessed. Lovelovelovelovelove.

OK, stop it, do things properly.


Method of choosing: This is not from my treasure box. I actually got one song, “Right Place”, from a playlist downloaded from Obscure Sound. And then spent the new few hours hitting ‘repeat’ on my mp3 player.

Albums available: None. They’ve got four songs on their homepage and Facebook page, link below.


Well this review obviously cannot follow the usual template, but listening to “Right Place” made me picture a gorgeously tall and pale woman with red lips and a long, long cigarette holder. And a mysterious guy in a Stetson on the guitars behind her. Plus legions of fans willing to die/ strip/ switch for them.

Actual music/ Post-listen reflection:

No red lips, then.

From – Peoria? OK, from Illinois – comes this brother-brother duo with big soulful eyes and an intriguingly old sound. It’s meaningful to note that neither of them are women with red lips. I might be semi-correct about the brooding hottie with the Stetson, though. Also, there is a Peoria City in both Illinois and Arizona. Interesting.

Needed: An awesome hat.

But who cares what they look like (actually quite good, really) when they make music that melt like whiskey and honey over ice-cubes. It’s unmistakeably sexy, manly, edged with fine grit; and yet their songs are also unapologetically infused with a longing sweetness. What? I should know. I’ve just spent the past three hours with their four tracks on repeat mode. Thank god we’ve moved past the age of vinyl.

Four tracks is pretty much what they’ve got going on right now – I had no idea they were so charmingly indie until I tried to Youtube them and came up with actual videos of black partridges. I’d assumed I hadn’t heard of them because I was an ignorant little dweeb. So I was wrong on that count, too. Let me rectify this. All you fly mothers who got up there and danced, I said, danced, pull your skirts back down and get off the platform. What is wrong with you guys? You’ve had a longer and better musical education than me. Go click here now. I’ll wait. No, do it now. I’m watching you.

It’s a little hard to describe what Black Partridge sounds like without making them sound any less unusual than they actually are. Melyssa Brown already did an awesome piece on Obscure Sound, which was where I ran into these lads anyhow. The four tracks they’ve got under their Band Profile on their Facebook page are simultaneously similar and yet varied. They’ve found a basic sound and beat that works for them, and they repeat these in their four tracks, and yet all four tracks have distinctive moods and stories. Their music is haunting, not just because of the dreamy, echoey quality of their sound, but also because they remind one of all these other artistes. But so subtly it’s like catching whiffs of a perfume someone left in a room. Melyssa Brown mentioned Victoria Legrand of Beach House and Jim Morrison. I sniffed Best Coast (vocals), Lykke Li (mood), Blondie (vocals+aesthetics), Black Keys (vocals-ish+ sound), Johnny Cash (mood+genre) and… er, Fleetwood Mac (red lips).

Boys with guitars are always lovely.


Will I listen to this again, and if so, under what circumstances? Does the Firth have a Forth? At this point, it is worth mentioning that “Right Place” actually made me contemplate starting a list of Great Songs to Break Up to.

Will put on music player? The question is, how do I get them off it. I am being unfair to the 25,038 musicians I have not yet gotten round to listening to.

Now this is where I would usually post a music video, but as there isn’t one yet, we will just have to make do with moody black-and-white shots.

Awaiting music video.