sun 22/07/2018

CD: Pete Fij/Terry Bickers - We Are Millionaires | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Pete Fij/Terry Bickers - We Are Millionaires

CD: Pete Fij/Terry Bickers - We Are Millionaires

Old school indie doyens' second album proves their debut was no fluke

Striking shot by Belgian photographer Rosanne de Lange

To anyone other than Eighties and Nineties indie obsessives, the guitarist from The House of Love and Levitation and the singer from Adorable getting together in 2014 did not cause a stir. However, both had stylistically leapt away from their pasts, and the resulting album, Broken Heart Surgery, showcased rich, heart-worn songs, filtered through a sensibility somewhere between Lee Hazelwood and John Barry 1960s film scores. It brought them a new audience. Their second album is equally palatable.

Boasting great cover art by photographer Rosanne de Lange, featuring the now disappeared car graveyard in Chatillon, Belgium, We Are Millionaires is also appropriately rusted and battered-sounding, bringing to mind the broken junkie romanticism of Nikki Sudden or even late period Johnny Thunders (especially on the frail ballad “Over You”). Lyrically, it’s good, poetic stuff too. The lovely title song is a peach. “We both love downbeat movies,” it almost whispers, like a Byronic barfly at 3am, “Inhabit a monochrome world, where the beat-up hero never seems to get the girl,” before blossoming into a twinkling, longing Bickers guitar solo, with a hint of Dave Gilmour about its technical skill.

The finger-clickin’, Hispanic-flavoured “If the World Is All We Have” is a stoned, filmic rock’n’roll shuffle, a bit Chris Isaak, a bit Twin Peaks, while “Mary Celeste” is Lou Reed in melodically light “Stephanie Says” mode. Throughout the whole album, there’s a clear, world-weary thoughtfulness that’s most welcome in this age of heart-on-sleeve non-specific singer-songwriter vulnerability. There’s also a shining instrumental twang to it that lifts these nine songs, gives them added heft.

A life lived pursuing dreams on the fringes of the music business has given Pete Fij and Terry Bickers requisite experience to fill their work with a resigned charm, and also, more importantly, the ability to attach that feeling to songs of forlorn lusciousness. The pair may be heading into the most fruitful period of their career.

Overleaf: Watch the video for Pete Fij & Terry BIckers's "Love's going to Get You"

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