Tag Archives: Modern Spector Soundalikes

The Mavericks – Brand New Day (2017)

Hello. Long time no see!

Regrettably, my day job and other things in life has kept me from blogging about the Wall of Sound for some months and by the looks of it, my blogging will never be as frequent as in the first phase of Cue Castanets.

I still plan to post from time to time, when time and my work load make it possible and I hope you’ll still check in. There are a lot of posts from the past years that will hopefully make for interesting reading and I plan to keep on posting the odd revue, write-up on specific tracks or feature some more interviews.

phiron

Speaking of interviews, as of writing I’m glad to have been able to feature many interviews with a number of knowledgable people. Each person has a take on the Phil Spector legend and the Wall of Sound worth checking out.

If you’d like to get the full overview in order to see if you’ve read all interview on Cue Castanets, go here:

https://cuecastanets.wordpress.com/category/interview/

Like I said, I may post more infrequently from now on  but there are a lot of subjects I’d like to discuss on Cue Castanets. If you haven’t signed up yet for e-mail notifications with every new blog post, I hope you’ll do so. That way you won’t miss out on any posts. Use the ‘Follow’ option in the low right corner.

My next post will follow shortly, – until then I’ll leave you with a stellar new modern Spector soundalike that a Cue Castanets reader kindly made me aware of. It’s just come out, proving that the Wall of Sound influence still rears it’s head from time to time, here by way of US veterans the Maverics. Around since the early 90s, the band released their latest album, of which ‘Brand New Day’ is the title track, in March this year.

mavericks

‘Brand New Day’ is a very classic approach to writing a Spectoresque pop song with meaningfull lyrics. I think it’s not that far removed from how Bruce Springsteen has channeled his Wall of Sound inspiration in some of his productions. Listen to it a few times and you’ll really like it. It’s a grower!

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The Courteeners – Has He Told You that He Loves You Yet (2014)

It seems like the well of modern Spector soundalikes never runs dry. Why, just today I discovered a very nice production that clearly picks up a trick or two from the Wall of Sound.

Turns out the Courteeners is a UK indie rock band that’s been around since the mid-00s. I’ve never heard about them before, and I suspect I won’t really enjoy the rest of their catalog as I’m not that keen on indie rock. But I am all ears when it comes to this little gem from their 2014 album ‘Concrete Love’.

court
Aaaw, how fitting! The Courteeners even stand before a wall…

Admittedly, ‘Has He Told You that He Loves You Yet?’ is pretty straightforward and just on the verge of being forgettable as a song,… but to the rescue then comes a driving drum beat coupled with a tambourine, tasty reverb and some acoustic guitars strumming along for good measure.

The Wall of Sound touches supplied here seem well chosen in that they inject energy into the song as a counterpoint to the otherwise dreamy mood of the lead vocal. It wouldn’t be far fetched to compare the song’s overall sound to something like, say, Morrissay’s Spectorish ‘Everyday is like Sunday.’

I really like this… I hope you do too.

Bruce Springsteen – Girls in their Summer Clothes (2008)

Aaaaah, with the arrival of spring and some much-needed sunshine, I was reminded of a song that would make for a perfect addition to this blog’s ever growing list of modern Spector soundalikes.

When talk centers on Spector soundalikes, you’re bound to eventually discuss the Boss and his longtime infatuation with the Wall of Sound.

There are plenty of songs showcasing Springsteen’s love for Spector’s approach throughout his 70s and 80s catalogue, notably the scrapped mid 70s sessions that eventually came out as ‘The Promise’ in 2010. (a must-buy release for any reader of this blog!)

promise

In more recent times, Springsteen’s forays into full-on Wall of Sound territory have been more limited but occasionally he’ll throw together some chords and great lyrics that are just begging for bombast.

A prime example would be the somewhat overlooked single ‘Girls in their Summer Clothes’ from 2008s ‘Magic’ album.

gsc

This perfect pop song with thumping backing by the E. Street Band wasn’t even issued as a physical single but could only be obtained as a digital download. It was only a minor chart success stalling at # 95 at the Billboard Hot 100 which is a shame since it’s one of Springsteen’s most straight-forward pop songs and definitely deserves to be heard by more than those within Springsteen’s loyal following.

Enjoy this gem then; top notch singing by the Boss, great lyrical theme with a bit of wistfulness thrown in for good measure and , above all, the tried-and-true Wall of Sound formula that elevates a good song to pure pop perfection. Eureka! – Another brilliant modern Spector soundalike.

 

Ette – Spending Christmas with my Boy (2015) / Mr Little Jeans – Dear Santa (2014)

It’s been a while since I’ve featured some of the modern Spector soundalikes I have a habit of tracking down just for the fun of it. There are literally thousands of newly produced songs out there leaning heavily towards a Wall of Sound-type approach, ripe for picking for any obsessed Spector fan.

Christmas-time is often especially rewarding because of the fact that Spector’s iconic ‘A Christmas Gift for You’ album has virtually brainwashed everyone into thinking that the Wall of Sound is the sound of Christmas; a warm, enveloping and nostalgic sound that artists today often go for when recording Christmas music, probably even without giving it much thought. Glockenspiels, strumming guitars, church bells and a ‘Be my Baby’ beat. Why, that’s just what Christmas sounds like, isn’t it?

phisanta

So today, this latest installment of the Modern Spector Soundalikes feature will present a festive doublesider in the form of two recent Christmas releases that both make use of some of the hallmarks of the Spector yuletide sound. I don’t know much about the artists other than that the duo Ette hail from Scotland while Mr Little Jeans is one-girl project from Norway. No matter, these two songs should appeal to everyone checking in from time to time.

Both productions are a little on the crude side – no sweeping Nitszchean strings here or a thousand acoustic guitars strumming in unison in a sea of echo. But both singles are still very, very enjoyable with sweet female vocals and a very classic song structure that make the songs seem familiar and inviting even on first listen. Surely, these songs wouldn’t have been out of place on an imaginary Philles Christmas single by the Ronettes, the Crystals or Darlene Love.

Check them out. I dig the huskiness and Scottish accent of the Ette singer and really, really love the dreamy chorus on Mr Little Jeans’ ‘Dear Santa’. Great stuff! Hope you’ll enjoy these two releases as much as I do.