Posts Tagged ‘Jonny Helm’

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The Wave Pictures are a band who are sometimes a victim of their own productivity. Even when trying to keep up with their album releases, the odd one is bound to slip through the gaps. If we’re honest, in our case that was true of the excellent Look Inside Your Heart, released last year on Moshi Moshi Records. Listening back to it recently, what fools we were, what silly foolish fools to not have taken this record to our hearts and embraced it with the tender loving it so richly deserves.

This week, ahead of a series of UK dates later this month, the band have shared a new video to the album’s understated highlight, the track “Shelly”. The track is a gentle shuffle of a track, frontman David Tattersall describes as, “a love song in the laid back style of late 70s Grateful Dead only with even better lyrics” – and we wouldn’t argue with that. It’s a track that is musically a lot more complex than a cursory listen would suggest; the complex fluttering drums, the propulsive hum of soothing bass, they even, quite rarely for The Wave Pictures, throw in some delightfully lush harmonies. The addition of backing-vocals from Holly Holden, adding an almost French-pop feel to the blissed-out outro. Don’t make the same mistake we did, don’t ever let a record by The Wave Pictures pass you by, they’re far too special for that.

Band Members
Dave Tattersall
Franic Rozycki,
Jonny Helm

Shelly is taken from The Wave Pictures’ new album ‘Look Inside Your Heart’ – the second album they released in 2018 on Moshi Moshi Records:

Jessica’s Brother is the eponymous debut album from London trio Jessica’s Brother, comprised of songwriter Tom Charleston, Jonny Helm (drums, also of The Wave Pictures) and Charlie Higgs (bass, previously of Ramshackle Union Band). Channelling the spirit of the Brothers Grimm to create an otherworldly atmosphere, they weave their motley influences together making a rich and eclectic vision, with nods to Silver Jews, Jason Molina, Nick Cave, Richard Thompson and Neil Young. There are themes of joy, anger and silliness in a carefully crafted world with a colourful cast of characters.
The trio formed in October 2016. Jonny and Charlie worked together in a framing business and had often talked about collaborating in a band together. Fate intervened when Jonny’s girlfriend Jessica introduced him to her brother Tom, and they found a songwriter in waiting. The trio clicked immediately and just nine months later they recorded the album with Laurie Sherman at The Booze Cube in Stoke Newington, with input from Darren Hayman. A few other friends joined them in the studio, including Dan Mayfield (Enderby’s Room), who added a dose of Bad Seeds/Dirty Three vibes on the violin and Paul Rains (Allo Darlin’/Tigercats) lent a hint of country twang on guitar and slide guitar.

With Jessica’s Brother, we see Tom Charleston’s songwriting blossoming in to a tour de force. Influenced more by poets than other musicians, he cites John Ashbery, T.S. Eliot and Philip Larkin as inspirations. He is drawn to how they can be irreverent, unassuming and playful, as he explains; “I suppose I wanted to offer something lyrically engaging and hopefully different.” His modestly lofty ambitions have paid off, with ten startling individual vignettes telling their own stories from a variety of narrator’s points of view.

“Humdinger” is perhaps the one song on the album where the narrator is at ease with himself and the world. Though there are moments where this tranquility is nudged by outside tremors, so we know this moment is ephemeral. If you’re going to call a track Humdinger, it had better be, well, a humdinger, and thankfully these chaps know what they’re doing. Probably their most languid and sun-drenched moment to date, Humdinger, is a wonderful fusion of serenity and the quiet feeling that it can’t possibly last, as Tom explains it is, “the one song on the album where the narrator is at ease with himself and the world. Though there are moments where this tranquillity is nudged by outside tremors, so we know this moment is ephemeral.” Musically, it never gets above a gentle shuffle, yet in the easy languid bass, meandering guitars and steady, perfectly judged drums, there’s more than enough to hold the listener’s attention. This laid-back style also allows Tom’s lyrics to shine, as his vocal, sometimes accompanied by a female vocal (as far as we know unidentified), sing out, “lo humdinger, I’m just a lazy singer with my mind in two.” Always poetic, always musically intriguing; sure it’s unlikely to make much of a fuss, but make no mistake, Jessica’s Brother’s debut album might just be one of 2018’s most exciting .

Weaving a variety of influences from jangly indie-rock to gothic country and contemplative psych folk, Jessica’s Brother create the sound of a band coming together and getting caught up in the rush of starting new and enjoyable. The instruments clamber over each other in a small room, with Helm’s distinctive drumming counterbalances the gothic guitar thrums and wailing violin.


Released by: Fika Recordings, Release date: 4th May 2018

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Jessica’s Brother first started playing together in October 2016 when Jonny Helm (drums, also of The Wave Pictures) asked Charlie Higgs (bass, previously of Ramshackle Union Band) to come and play some songs written by Tom Charleston (Jessica’s Brother). The trio clicked immediately, and just 9 months later recorded the album with Laurie Sherman at The Cube and with Darren Hayman.

Jessica’s Brother are a London-based trio, fronted by songwriter Tom Charleston. The band recently shared their debut single, “Overnight Horror”, a track that blends the worlds of Americana and 1960’s folk into a perfectly formed sound entirely their own. The track was the first taste of an upcoming album, coming soon on Fika Recordings. A record the band suggest blends themes of, “joy, anger, silliness”. The album, which features guest appearances from the likes of Allo Darlin’s Paul Rains and Enderby’s Room violinist Dan Mayfield, was, the band say, a result of changing characters, and, “instruments clambering over each other in a small room”. So far so intriguing, Jessica’s Brother may not have shared much material to date.


There are themes of joy, anger, silliness. The characters change, the instruments clamber over each other in a small room. Their shared influences include Silver Jews, Jason Molina, Richard Thompson and Neil Young.