Spaceships Are Cool are a self-styled “sci-fi sunshine pop” act geared around the talents of Nottingham’s Rob Maddison, who is just as comfortable performing solo as with a plethora of guest musicians. His debut EP is a thoroughly entertaining and varied collection of songs which certainly whets the appetite for an album.
The first reference point I picked up on were Simian; especially where Maddison’s vocals are concerned. ‘We Were Created…’ is a brightly coloured pop confection consisting of multiple layers of analog and digital instruments, guitars and presumably kitchen sinks. ‘Strawberry Kickers’ is a song that a few may have heard before from its appearance on the recent ‘I Can Count Vol 2’ comp. A less complicated number than the opener, it’s a song which captures the essence of 1970’s American radio rock rather than a quirky modern day songwriter; Maddison also shows that he can carry a melody using his voice which is not often the case with his fellow one-man band electronica performers.
Elsewhere, ‘This Fond Farewell’ is the clearest indication of Maddison’s fondness for vintage instruments whilst ‘Gingerbread Houses’ is a childlike fantasy which reminded me of 60’s cult hero Mark Wirtz and his ‘Teenage Opera’ soundtrack. Finally, ‘Sooner Or Later’ is a gentle lulllaby, as fragile as the earlier songs are ebullient.
Admittedly there’s just five tracks here, covering just over twenty minutes of listening time but each of them possesses a glorious, ramshackle charm. The music world needs artists such as Mr. Maddison and I hope to hear more from him soon.
Simian, Mark Wirtz, Flaming Lips