Brighton’s retro-style janglers, The Raving Beauties, unfurl some sun-drenched, harmony-laden guitar pop on, ‘This Is The Train‘, ahead of a new album, ‘Over Yonder‘, out later this year.
With summer drifting to an end, the Brighton-based collective have released a gorgeous new song that somehow perfectly captures the mood for these last remaining warm evenings before autumn takes proper hold. Describing their song as twangy sunshine soul, The Raving Beauties have pulled in some noteworthy talent to make sure they hit the mark. There’s some stunning and melodic twangy lead guitar by special guest, James Walbourne (The Pretenders, The Rails), and organ, bass and glockenspiel by Ian Parton (The Go! Team), who also did an excellent job of mixing the track.
The opening snare roll has a delicious northern soul feel but the track kicks into a sound that’s far more early 70s West Coast California than Wigan Pier. Founder of The Raving Beauties, Brian Bell, lives in Brighton, but originally hails from Belfast, but it seems like these years of soaking up the sunshine on the south coast has profoundly influenced the music The Raving Beauties play.
“The song’s not literally about trains, but I guess you could say it’s sort of about coming out a dark tunnel into the light,” says Bell, “One of the main influences on the album we’re putting the finishing touches to (Over Yonder) is the early ‘70s Island Records vibe. We’d been thinking about covering a John Martyn or Nick Drake song in a more up-tempo, jangly style, but we ended up binning that idea – This Is The Train emerged from me putting a new vocal melody and lyrics to some of the folky chord progressions that Tom Collison (producer/multi-instrumentalist /main collaborator) had been playing around with.” Given the strength of this track, it all augurs well for the album.
The video also evocatively nails that late summer feeling, while firmly holding on to the retro vibe. There’s old stock footage of trains, mixed up with footage of classic Soul Train dance moves and it’s all cut together with shots of the band singing and strumming acoustic guitars around a firepit at sunset on the beach, with their friends singing along. Everything seems to be filmed through a soft, 70s, super-8 sunset light. Like the song, it’s gorgeous.