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Leeds, England, United Kingdom | INDIE

Leeds, England, United Kingdom | INDIE
Band Alternative Pop


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"Guardian New Band Of the day"

Hometown: Heckmondwick.

The lineup: Louis Oliver Jones (vocals, instruments), Will Jones (drums).

The background: We realise that rock'n'roll is a US invention – we're not that thick – but who came up with the idea of scuzzy Americana, the Yanks or the Brits? Do we count Ramones as the first exponents of scruffed-up traditionalism, with their punky take on surf'n'Spector, or should that honour really go to Psychocandy-era Jesus and Mary Chain? We were wondering this as we listened to today's new act, Spectrals – not to be confused with Spector, or indeed Spectrum – because this Leeds-based 21-year-old is very much in the vein of a Stateside bedroom garage/doo-wop balladeer such as Idiot Glee, and we didn't know who should be thanking who.

Or you could think of Louis Oliver Jones, who is Spectrals, as a Brit, male Best Coast. A northern Brit male Best Coast – if his voice had any more Yorkshire grit, Jones would be Alex Turner. Think of Spectrals as the direction Turner might have taken had Last Shadow Puppets been more influenced by the Shangri-Las than the Walker Brothers. Jones's voice apart, Spectrals are totally in hock to early rock'n'roll – not the greasy, high-energy stuff, but the spectral (a-ha!) ballads from that era, the pop stuff, the doo wop. If Jim Reid had made a solo album in 1986, it might have sounded like this. In fact, it's the solo album James Allan of Glasvegas is probably considering making even as we speak.

He'll need to go some to keep up with Jones, who has already released, as far as we can tell from his numerous appearances on YouTube, at least a dozen tracks on various singles and EPs, and who, in October, will be issuing, via the Wichita label, his 11-track debut album. Wichita was lucky to get him: apparently his early MySpace demos drew the attention of Brooklyn imprint Captured Tracks (Dum Dum Girls, Wild Nothing), which would have been an ideal home, but after releasing his EP – pointedly titled Extended Play, to telegraph his desire to go back to basics, if not back to mono – on Moshi Moshi, it's Wichita that gets to put out Bad Penny, so titled because, as Jones says, "It's the idea of something being of worth, but it can be sort of dirty or bad or … All the songs are about love and girls, but it's not always a nice thing. I enjoy the contradiction of sunny, pretty-sounding music [but] there's a bitterness there."

We actually haven't heard any of the Bad Penny material, although we do know it was recorded with Richard (Wild Beasts) Formby, but if Jones's earlier songs are any measure, it should be a minor classic of shambling ardour, of Be My Baby drums (played by his younger brother, Will) and tinny tunes that pull on your heartstrings. The titles neatly express the paradoxes of desire (It's OK Not to Be OK, I Ran with Love But I Couldn't Keep Up) while the lyrics explore them further ("Leave me be/ Don't leave me be"). Even the faster numbers are languorous, and they're all swamped in reverb and other signifiers of spaced-out confusion and narcosis. Basically, Alan McGee will wet himself. Not that he's remotely old enough to be incontinent, just that he tends to get excited by music like this.

The buzz: "He's making, at the ripe age of 21, some of the most compelling beachcomber soul the wrong side of the M25" – somethinkblue.com.

The truth: It's the sound of Creation B.O. (Before Oasis).

Most likely to: Fill McGee with idiot glee.

Least likely to: Cheer up Phil Spector.

What to buy: Bad Penny is released by Wichita on 17 October, preceded by the single Get a Grip.

File next to: Idiot Glee, Dion, Alex Turner, Jim Reid. - The Guardian

"405 ones to watch for 2011"

Louis Jones AKA Spectrals has ridiculous style, grace, and quintessentially English charm. The "so laid back it seems too easy" vibe of songs like 'I Ran With Love But Couldn't Keep Up' just takes your breath away as it's weird retro pop eases into your brain. The guy has just released the Extended Play EP on Moshi Moshi Records and the eagerly anticipated full length Bad Penny is dropping in early 2011. Think, an English version of 'Girls' with more tact. - The 405

"Big Baby Stream"

Spectrals first caused a bit of an internet ruck in October 2009 with 'Rot With Me', a foggy, tin-can lo fi track with a striking melody. Releases on a bunch of underground labels followed (he can count Captured Tracks, Sex Is Disgusting and Tough Love as early fans) leading to an EP with indie king makers Moshi Moshi and tours with Best Coast and Girls.

Now, 21 year old redhead Louis Jones - he was once accused of 'copying' Mick Hucknall, seriously - is back with a full album.

Recorded with Wild Beasts producer Richard Formby, 'Bad Penny' is set to be a gorgeous collection of proper-pop love songs, influenced by The Style Council, Elvis Costello and The Ronettes. First up is 'Big Baby', an upbeat rah rah rah ode to being 17 and finding out that love can be brilliant but mean. Bad Penny is released on October 17th through Wichita. - NME

"Big Baby Premieree"

On October 25, UK singer-songwriter Spectrals will drop Bad Penny, a new LP on Slumberland set to include the hilly, effervescing "Big Baby", A-side to a 7" single set to drop in advance of that album. Check it out. - Pitchfork


Self titled 7" (captured tracks)
4 song tape EP (suplex)
Fair Oh's split 7" (tough love)
7th Date 7" (slumberland)
Peppermint 7" (moshi moshi)
Extended play CD and 12" (moshimoshi/underwaterpeoples)
Bad Penny LP (Wichita/Slumberland)

The first track from the Bad Penny LP premiered on Pitchfork:http://pitchfork.com/forkcast/16152-big-baby/

The track has also been played on UK stations such as BBC radio 1 and BBC 6 music.

In August 2011 Spectrals played a live session for Lauren Laverne that was broadcast live on air during the day.

Peppermint and 7th Date from the Extended play EP were played on BBC radio 1 on average ten times a week.

Spectrals recorded a radio 1 session at Maida Vale Studios for Huw Stephens that was broadcast in the summer of 2010.



From the town of Heckmondwike, 10 miles south-west from Leeds, Louis is softly spoken with a shock of ginger hair. Brought up of a mixture of 60 & 70s soul, motown and doo-wop, Spectrals’ influences include Phil Spector (hence the name), Diana Ross & The Supremes, The Isley Brothers alongside garage rock.

Despite originally only being for his closest friends, his Myspace soon attracted the attention of new labels all over the world; from Brooklyn label Captured Tracks (Dum Dum Girls, Wild Nothing) to Brighton's Sex Is Disgusting (Mazes, Human Hair) and Moshi Moshi (Florence and The Machine, Hot Chip) where he eventually released last year's 'Extended Play'

Bad Penny a collection of 11 original and previously unreleased songs will be released in October by Wichita and Slumberland Records.