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Beautify Junkyards - Beautify Junkyards (2013) review

Beautify Junkyards "Beautify Junkyards" (Clear Spot, 2013) 

Lisbon based group consisting of João Branco Kyron (voice, synthesizers), JP Daniel (acoustic guitars), Watts (percussions), Sergue (acoustic guitar, omnichord, xylophone, bass) J.Monsant (acoustic guitar, electric organ) and Rita Vian (voice, electric organ), equipped only with their instruments and portable studio, recorded their debut album outdoors in nature, with nine fantastic songs. What`s more interesting is the fact that all of the songs are covers by some well-known artists like Nick Drake, Donovan, Roy Harper,… even Kraftwerk! Everything sounds pure and honest. Acoustic sounds and some re-arranged harmonies bring the new body to all the recorded songs.

Album starts with meditating Vashti Bunyan`s “Rose Hip November” that surely sets the mood of the listener to relaxation and enjoyment. Followed by nice version of Nick Drake`s “In the morning”, the band brings more attention to their folk rock roots. Of course, the fact that their version of Kraftwerk`s “Radioactivity” was released on tribute compilation to the legendary Germans by British DJ Food, confirms the bands creative ability to make electronic music sound like Crosby, Stills & Nash would. Intelligent arrangements of this song left the Kraftwerk`s atmosphere but lifted it up to a new, modern level of 21st century folk rock sounding. Very brave but still a great job.

Heron`s “Yellow Roses” and Os Mutante`s “Fuga no 2” make a nice break in the middle showing the musical creativity of the band. Woodstock-era sounding of “Ask me no Questions” by Bridget St John is another nice cover, sung by Rita Vian, and played in the best manner of folk rock, maybe even reminding the early stage of Fairport Convention but in modern shape. Followed by bluesy and darker version of Roy Harper`s “Another day” makes it only more authentic. Psychedelic “Parallelograms” of Linda Perhacs is a nice job, making it less raw but trippy, like it needs to be. Album closes in the same level as it starts – meditating and relaxing with cover of Donovan`s “Song for the Naturalist´s wife” powered with wind and sea in the background.

With sounds of freedom, nature and pure music, Portuguese sextet “Beautify Junkyards” announces a good start of their, hopefully, long lasting career.
Their self-titled debut is all about making the good music sound even better.

Beautify Junkyards debut “Beautify Junkyards” will be out worldwide on 12th September on Clear Spot.

Review made by Andrija Babovic/2013
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