Written by: Jen Dan
Indie music super-group Minor Victories is comprised of major U.K. talents Rachel Goswell (Slowdive), Stuart Braithwaite (Mogwai), Justin Lockey (Editors), and James Lockey (Hand Held Cine Club).
Together, Goswell (vocals), Braightwaite (guitar), Justin Lockey (guitar, electronics), and James Lockey (bass, filmmaker) triumph on a string of recently released singles, going from strength to strength from A Hundred Ropes to Folk Arp, to Scattered Ashes, and finally to Breaking My Light. Each track is imbued with a cinematic aesthetic sonically, as well as visually due to the songs’ accompanying black & white videos.
Minor Victories’ overall musical style is a shadowy and alluring blend of post-rock, post-punk, darkwave, and electronic, graced with Goswell’s softly dulcet vocals. A Hundred Ropes pulses with propulsive energy, shivering symphonic strings, and jagged guitar distortion. Goswell presses her light, slightly downcast vocals into an urgent call of, “We’ve got to find our own way home.”
Folk Arp scuds by with a brief noisy bit before laying down in a lulling break of gently chiming guitar notes and subdued percussion. Goswell, along with pulled strings and tinkling electronics, float calmly above, but the respite is short-lived as the crackle of guitar distortion enters the mix. Soon an emphatic drum beat materializes and the fragile tranquility is pitted against the tumultuous storm of galvanized guitars and drums.
The spirit of the Jesus And Mary Chain hangs over Scattered Ashes in the guitar burn and crisp hits of drums and tambourine. Goswell and guest James Graham of The Twilight Sad trade off and twin vocal lines amid the incendiary glow of guitar distortion, sharp drum beat, and accent of strings.
Epic (in mood and length) Breaking My Light goes for heightened drama with the sustained frisson of symphonic strings, prowling drum beat, reflective piano notes, and Goswell’s half-regretful, half-siren call vocals where she declares that the “shadows” have been “…breaking my light.”
Minor Victories’ self-titled debut album is slated for release June 3rd on Fat Possum Records. It should be an all-around winner.
See all the video films at Minor Victories’ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuNPpMLDPeCrq0Xz_pKmd3Q