Material from the erstwhile Long Blondes front-lady has been a long time coming. Although The Fly announced last year that Kate Jackson was recording with Bernard Butler on production duties under the name Madame Ray little has appeared since.
Yesterday afternoon via her twitter however, Kate promised a demo from the sessions, entitled 'The Atlantic', would be available to listen to as a Valentines gift. True to her word the track appeared, along with another demo, 'Homeward Bound'.
With it being Valentines I of course didn't get a chance to listen to the demos. But here's what I thought when I finally did listen to them....
Sleeper style guitars and twinkly synthesisers. The multi-tracked vocals in the chorus lift the song into potentially epic territory (we'll need to wait until we hear the final thing, for this is only a demo) but it lacks the glam of The Long Blondes. Also the vocals are surprisingly low in the mix, but this is something we can assume will be ironed out come final versions – which can't come soon enough
The Atlantic (M) by KateJackson
Bit more poppy with a more obviously Kate Jackson vocal. Again, recalls Sleeper but it's not a bad thing. Definitely sounds like it's got the potential to be a single. Could do with a bit more kick rather than the shiny stadium pop guitars that punctuate but there's a cracking song at the core.
Homeward Bound (355) 25.03.10 by KateJackson
The overall feeling here is that at the moment there's nothing to rival the work Kate did with The Long Blondes. That's not really a surprise however as they were responsible for some of the best music of the 2000's. Still, the essence of The Long Blondes was always revealed so much better across the length of an album when the recurring themes could come to the surface.
These demos have a ton of potential and the length of time we've been kept waiting means that when Kate/Madame Ray finally gets around to releasing a record it is going to have a lot to live up to. There's not much to surprise in 'The Atlantic' or 'Homeward Bound' so far there's more than enough to wet our appetite.