Anglo-Irish art rockers Five Grand Stereo are pleased to release “This Stuff”; recently premiered by Clash Magazine, it’s a beguiling stomp of a song that wouldn’t sound out of place in The Velvet Underground’s songbook. Unashamedly mining from the past, but with a nod to the here and now, the song rides confidently over a cyclical piano melody, Moog synths, phased organs and a sarcastic, half-sung, half-spoken vocal.
“The idea behind Five Grand Stereo”, says lead songwriter Chris Singleton, “was to take a 1970s band, shove them in a time machine, deposit them in 2015 and ask them to make a record about the world they find themselves in”.
The result: darkly humorous and occasionally theatrical music that deals with sex, money and missing David Bowie. Four-part harmonies, duelling guitars, raspy sax, distorted synths and above all, soaring melodies abound; classic artists like Marc Bolan, Bryan Ferry, Frank Zappa, Lou Reed and the Thin White Duke himself are frequently referenced sonically, but put through Five Grand Stereo’s proprietary blender to create some delightfully quirky results.
Five Grand Stereo are Chris Singleton (vocals, guitar, piano); Jane Fraser (vocals); Stelios Kalisperides (guitar); Michael Kirkland (sax and synths); Zane Maertens (bass) and Ben Woollacott (drums).
Five Grand Stereo play London’s Troubadour Club on 14 May, followed by a show at the Phoenix Artist Club on 22 June.