SWJ Group: ‘Scribbles’ – Single Review
Coming soon on Gas Records
A good shot of Mancadelia just in time for Summer. Psychedelic-folk sound meets Manchester music in ‘Scribbles’, the latest track from locally-based music collective SWJ (Stephen Wilson Junior) Group– coming soon on Gas Records, complete with a tie-dye, trippy music video, says Louder Than War’s Emily Oldfield…
The group consists of Stephen Wilson Jnr himself on vocals, Mr James Boon with guitars and Jonathan Jacksons on keys. Three people capable of creating an immersive array of sun-tinged tunes.
It’s a song which oozes seasonal upbeat, with a winning combination of plucky bass, guitar and keys which gets the things going on a jam. Sashaying through a story of young distraction and attraction, ‘Scribbles’ starts with ‘there was a scene in a movie I saw/ about a boy who was never alone’ – these perfectly picked syllables clean-cut and contributing to the rousing rhythm.
And once the scene is set, the track just builds and builds – tempting the audience ever-further into the trip, with shakers and snaps. There seems a slight tongue-in-cheek comment about ‘making profit from historical tunes’ – as whilst many people still listen back to the ‘Madchester’ era, SWJ Group use the inspiration but also new creation: putting out something powerful, punchy and infectiously catchy in the form of ‘Scribbles’.
The inferences of young lust emphasize the full throb of the funk, rolling over the image ‘there was a lady who plied me with skin and bones’. Forget the vacuous pop of so many contemporary summer anthems, this is carefully synchronised instrumentation which crucially still sounds chilled and effortless.
‘Scribbles’ is a track instead anthemic in its celebration of the past still impacting the present, but also its formative qualities for the future, as the lingering length of the chorus underlines – ‘get more crazed in the haze of days you thought that you left behind’. Simple yet striking lyrics seal a satisfying catchiness by providing their own sense of pulse and beat.
After every chorus, it’s back to the initial jam. Which all the time diversifies thanks to the wah wah of guitar, a more prominent, textured vocal and hand claps. At one point, backing vocals add pops of ‘wow’ as spiralling guitar keeps the tune on a high.
And it’s a high right up until the end, with warped vocal echoes and funky asides, making it feel-good music with added authenticity. Give it a listen.
By Emily Oldfield.