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The Candle Thieves – The Happiness Blues EP

September 7, 2010 by  

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The Candle Thieves – The Happiness Blues EP

NAME: The Candle Thieves
EP: The Happiness Blues EP
DATE: 13September2010

LABEL: Carnival Town / Mercer Street


FIVE WORD REVIEW: Big Ol’ Whimsical Bear Hug

LOCATION: Peterborough

LINE UP: Scott McEwan: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Glockenspiel, Casio Keyboard, The Glock: Piano, Backing Vocals, Glockenspiel, Harmonica, Melodica, Snare, Shaker


WHAT’S THE STORY?: School friends Scott McEwan oddly named The Glock (somehow I doubt this is his real name) reunite after some time apart in other bands to make simple, heartfelt music with elements of twee, but not too twee favourites Death Cab For Cutie and The Unicorns. Ahhh, sounds lovely. Like an Ovaltine and a slice of cheesecake after a hard day’s participation in the rat race.

SOUNDS LIKE: ‘The Happiness Blues EP’ is the sonic equivalent of a day spent idly languishing in a park on a sunny day, lead track ‘The Sunshine Song’ epitomising this. A straightforward love song, an upbeat ‘I Will Follow You Into The Dark’ with enough synth and handclaps to keep even the most woeful of heads nodding along. The lyrics may occasionally raise a cringe or two but your heart would have to be hewn from stone to not appreciate the sentiment here. This track should have been a radio favourite this summer, but alas. Sadly things deteriorate from this high point.

‘Annabelle’s Song’ has similar lyrical content to Eels’ ‘My Beloved Monster.’ McEwan’s soft vocals drive the piano line forward, yet ultimately the song doesn’t really go anywhere. It’s harmless and harmonious enough to be innoffensive though. ‘Maybe we could all unwind?’ they intone. Indeed. But maybe not to the point of submission the song suggests..

‘Paper Aeroplanes’ starts off sounding not unlike filler from CBeebies and remains that way. You can almost see toddlers drifting off to sleep as this plays. In spite of the efforts of glockenspeil and synth attempting to build into something more substantial, the track as the one before it and stays at a standstill, like getting your feet stuck briefly on a pavement made of molasses. Almost annoying. Almost..

Closer ‘Balloon #2’ seems to artfully ape Coldplay. (Note: this is in no way a good thing.) Again, The Candle Thieves seem satisfied to let a song meander along to its anticlimax, devoid of anything to grab the attention.

It’s a real shame that the last three tracks here don’t live up to the jaunty standard set by ‘The Sunshine Song’ While the band aim for a relaxed, dreamy sound, the EP frequently sounds too chilled. If they amped up the songs just a tad, this would have been a memorable, sensitive record.

YOU’LL LIKE THIS IF: You’re into Eels, The Postal Service, The Unicorns


Submitted By Nadia



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