I was a big fan of (self described) ‘vaudeville carny psych’ band Purson and was naturally upset when they split. However, lead vocalist Rosalie Cunningham sugared the pill somewhat by releasing a solo album (2019’s self-titled outing) and now this latest single “Number 149”. Continuing in a similar vein it’s organic and keeps the dark edged psychedelic flag flying high.
Reassuringly retro “Number 149” opens to a sea of swirling synths and pounds out a riff that’ll immediately hang its hooks into your cranium. With a slightly off kilter beat it seems to appear as if from strange parallel netherworld, it’s the musical equivalent of a circus tent at an evil carnival that entices you in with a tantalising trail of tempting notes. A Joe Meek protégée gone awry Rosalie lays down a vocal performance that does all sorts of aerobatics, twisting and ululating over a discombobulated beat. “Number 149” is a song born from lockdown enforced nostalgic meanderings and it’s sound is rooted in 60’s psych and 70’s rock and will appeal equally to fans of both camps.
In keeping with a traditional single feel “Number 149” has a limited release on groovy green 7” vinyl. Flip it over and you’ll find companion piece “Fossil Song”. In the true spirit of all those classic slabs of vinyl Rosalie gets a bit experimental on the ‘b’-side. It’s still unmistakably Ms Cunningham but the coins been spun to reveal another face. Exorcising demons and opening old wounds it takes a darker turn that brings to mind Siouxsie and the Banshees in their mid-career gothic period. With plenty of reverb on the guitars and harrowing keys it’s a truly haunting affair that makes the silence that follows all the more haunting.
Number 149 was released on 12th March 2021