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coverpic flag Japan - Full Moon 82 - 06/14/03

Daffodil-19
Circuit
Clover Records

A pleasant surprise! Inside a small plastic bag is a nice cardboard box with a ditto water-colour painting of nine daffodils (what happened to the remaining ten?). When the box is folded out, a spring-green-yellow CD with the same daffodils and a long and narrow piece of paper with the lyrics printed in green are revealed.

Now, could D-19's music fulfil the expectations of the wrapping? Well, it's not that special, but heart-warming pop-music with some pleasant original twists in between. At first they sent me straight back to 1980 and bands like The Raincoats and Young Marble Giants. D-19 seemed to have the same sense for clever pop melodies superseding the musical skills. The innocent and high-pitched vocals by Yoko Satori (and I thought Yoko was a female name, not so here) striving to find the accurate note, even reminded of early recordings by our own Norwegian heroes The Tables. Yoko's articulation is better than a lot of other non-English native vocalist I can think of b.t.w. After a while I realised the members of D-19 really are excellent musicians. I had only been fooled by the simple structures and scarce instrumentation of a few songs. For instance: I really love that dreamy lead guitar sound in combination with a steady but very discreet rhythm guitar and bass at the start of "Launderette". The surprising break of "Sleepyhead" sounds very familiar, now where did they nick that? The Daffodils sure cannot be newcomers; they know too much about how to pull the right strings. I even found some resemblance with Velvet Underground's self titled third album!

The lyrics have to be mentioned. Some seem to be of the stream of consciousness kind and don't make too much sense to me. Others are really childish. How about: 'Stick Boy and Match Girl, They knew it was fatal to fall in love... Don't you play with matches, said his uncle Lumber...' (from the dreamy delights of "Stick Boy")? Yet other bits seems to originate from western sources. Even some name- and title-dropping here. The line 'I can't cope with those passionate friends' has to refer to a single by the underrated Teardrop Explodes (back to England around 1980, again!) and their still active front man (St.) Julian Cope.

Even though the daffodil is a spring flower, at least around northern Europe, D-19 also is an excellent summer orchestra. "Somnabulistic Ray" awakes the right summer feelings: 'Now the summer's here, and nothing's done, I can't go out, Till the sun goes down'. Judging from a review of an earlier D-19 album here at Luna's five years ago, the band surely has kept the love for clever and original wrapping of their albums. Musically they seem to have improved. Mainly neat and tidy guitar-pop, but one minute and two seconds of "Honey Blue" proves they master the noble art of fuzz-pop, too. Daffodil-19 - this charming band...!

You might check out Clover Records' home page or contact the band.

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You may also want to check out our Daffodil-19 article/review: Daffodilic.

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