An optimistic and irresistible, harmony-laden guitar pop song, new single This Is The Train
sees the Brighton-based collective shifting from jangle to twangle
and adding some classic Northern Soul influences.
With some melodic twangy lead guitar by special guest, gunslinger James Walbourne (The Pretenders, The Rails), and organ, bass and glockenspiel by Ian Parton (The Go! Team), who also mixed the track, Raving Beauties have created a shimmering and soulful thing of, er, beauty that deserves to be heard playing loudly through open car windows.
This Is The Train
is timeless, but also fresh and vibrant
– it's an ideal song for these strange and uncertain times, as we look towards a brighter future.
It's like meeting up with an old friend or loved one you haven't seen for ages and heading off to the coast to escape from the humdrum routine of everyday life.
"The song's not literally about trains, but I guess you could say it's sort of about coming out a dark tunnel into the light," says Raving Beauties supremo, Brian Bell, who lives in Brighton, but hails from Belfast.
Raving Beauties - This Is The Train
"One of the main influences on the album we're putting the finishing touches to (Over Yonder) is the early '70s Island Records vibe.
"We'd been thinking about covering a John Martyn or Nick Drake song in a more up-tempo, jangly style, but we ended up binning that idea – This Is The Train emerged from me putting a new vocal melody and lyrics to some of the folky chord progressions that Tom Collison (producer/multi-instrumentalist /main collaborator) had been playing around with."
There's another new recruit too – Scottish folknik and acoustic guitar maestro, Callum Johnstone, who provides the harmony vocal.
"It's a nice bit of serendipity in that the original Raving Beauties album [released in 2015] came about because of a Belfast-Edinburgh alliance with singer-songwriter Gordon Grahame. Things have come full circle, as Callum is a proud Edinburgher," says Bell.
Completing the line-up is drummer Grant Allardyce – another Sussex-based, Belfast expat.
"He's primarily a jazz dude, so brings a swing to whatever he plays on," enthuses Bell.