Record review: Marionettes – ‘Garden Song’

a0879038183_10It’s interesting to witness bands evolve over time, especially when they take their strongest features and apply them to an almost entirely different set of musical influences.

‘Garden Song’, the new single by Aberdeen’s Marionettes does, to my ears, almost exactly that.

Casting my memory back to January, I recall reviewing their EP, Tea Parties.

Comparing this record and ‘Garden Song’, one thing becomes immediately clear – this is still Marionettes and their strong points remain: raucous choruses, gleeful energy and a knack for crafting instantly accessible pop.

What is almost completely absent from this record is the influence of their native country.

‘Garden Song’ is pure Americana, perhaps by way of Glasgow’s PAWS, but Americana nonetheless – tethered only to these shores by the lively yet melancholy-tinged guitar lines that feature prominently in the track.

Another noteworthy absence is the compositional ‘fat’ of their earlier releases.

There are no weak parts to this song to clutter the arrangement or bore the listener.

Structurally, this is tight and focused and, at 2.26 it does not overstay its welcome.

With this record Marionettes have taken a confident step in a different direction and this is something most young bands never do.

Although to some, it might be a step into chartered territory, and a cynic might dismiss this record as a poor man’s PAWS – I think the willingness to take these steps and ultimately land on improved ground is vital not just for Marionettes, but for the largely stagnant, exercise in repetition currently known as alternative music.

Words: Chris McCrory


One thought on “Record review: Marionettes – ‘Garden Song’

  1. Do you actually know what “Americana” actually means? I’m a big fan of both Americana and Marionnettes but the former does not encompass the latter.

    As for it being melancholy, hardly, given it’s resolutely in a major key; but I’m glad you liked it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: