Tuesday, January 25, 2011

golden opportunities

One of my fave raves at the moment is Penguin Prison, aka New York based singer/songwriter Chris Glover.

At seemingly random moments throughout last year, Penguin Prison dropped a couple of amazing singles on hot spot label, Neon Gold. Remember them? They breathed life into the careers of Ellie Goulding and Marina And The Diamonds before they were signed to major label deals.

Over the last twelve months or so, the gentle folk at Neon Gold have been nurturing Penguin Prison. They've been giving Mr. Glover and co. some time to ferment their musical wine. "Animal Animal" and "The Worse It Gets" slipped out on 7" single as tasty previews for Penguin Prison's debut longplayer.

Third single, "Golden Train", is their debut on Wall Of Sound, the UK tastemaker label that is home to Grace Jones and The Human League. Not exactly an unamazing place to be!

Although "Golden Train" has been knocking around a while, PP decided to lense an intimate, acoustic rendition of it in what appears to be an empty dining room in a local bed and breakfast.

The stripped back performance lets the song breath without all the production bells and whistles.

Here's the original version with all the accoutrements.

Lots of 80s influences going on. I detect bits of Hall And Oates, Thompson Twins, Scritti Politti, Blancmange and Talk Talk without ever sounding like any of them. The arrangements are interesting and substantial without overpowering the song at the heart of the recording.

And if you're a fan of mash ups, PP has fashioned a lovely little mashy of his top tune with Michael Jackson's funky "Workin' Day And Night" from his "Off The Wall" opus. Prepare to take a ride on your disco stick!

Wicked! I have dubbed it "Workin' On The Golden Train".

No word on the forthcoming album, though. But if it's even half as good as any of the expertly crafted singles release thus far, it's sure to be amazeballs. Penguin Prison even turn out mindblowing b-sides with consummate ease! Check out "Something I'm Not" which appeared as the flip side to "The Worse It Gets".

And they even have a deft hand a producing remixes! Two of my fave PP post productions include their reswizzling of Faithless' latest, Blancmange sampling single, "Feel Me", and "Get Outta My Way" by Kylie.

Very New Order meets the Thompson Twins! N'est-ce pas?

More plz! Clearly, I'm spreading the Penguin Prison love. Do yourself a favor and do the same.


  1. *Like* A lot. I kinda dismissed PP as generic electro-pop but granted they are above that. Thanks for sharing