Having reached the Autumn Equinox (an event to be celebrated now by not just one, but a fine pair of albums from this guy) it may seem strange to be featuring a Summery song. And it would be, if the new single from London’s Morton Valence was not completely Autumnal in feel. Even the weather is suitable “we pulled away around midnight / as the rain came pouring down” sings Robert ‘Hacker’ Jessett, as he recalls a night that stretched away into the early morning “we were dancing ’til the sun came up / we walked home by the old canal.” It’s a reflection on the city as well, although the waves of pedal steel (played by multi-instrumentalist BJ Cole, who also produced the album) and the slow percussion seem to be stirring the dust of ages – not, perhaps, today’s ever gentrified London but a not so distant London of dirty streets and endless rows of bedsits and two room flats with only glimpses of a rugged glamour shining through. The intertwined vocals of Jessett and Anne Gilpin (the other half of Morton Valence) take a weary psychogeographic stroll through this doubtless soon to be forgotten cityscape.
All the more ironic that the song was written in Madrid – at the onset of the pandemic which found Rob and his wife stuck in a tiny apartment on the outskirts of a city which, in one day, had effectively gone from being a 24-hour fiesta to a ghost town.