Stanley Brinks and The Wave Pictures - Tequila Island [12"/CD]

Artist: Stanley Brinks and The Wave Pictures
Title: Tequila Island
Format: 12” LP on agave and tequila coloured splatter vinyl / digipack CD with lyrics booklet
Cat#: Fika073LP/CD
Release date: 21st June 2019
Bandcamp | Spotify

Stanley Brinks is joined by The Wave Pictures for their fifth album together; and their first since 2015’s “My Ass”. That’s not to say either have been slacking in that time, both are notoriously prolific: The Wave Pictures have turned out 5 albums and Brinks 7 since they last came together in the studio.

Stan arrived at the studio with several CDs worth of unrecorded songs on a balmy North London night and instructed The Wave Pictures to pick out some favourites to jam during the following three nights of recording sessions.

To anyone familiar with Stanley Brinks' huge discography - more than 100 albums - it might sound more raw in a way, less sophisticated than some of his other recordings. It's still rich in jazzy sounds and original structures however, the songs looser and full of playfulness, with the lyrics carrying the essence of the songs.

Tequila - the drink - was obviously the inspiration for the album. While writing, and while recording.

Stanley Brinks was born in Paris, France, in 1973. He studied a bit of biology and worked as a nurse for a while. Half Swedish, half Moroccan, strongly inclined to travel the world, he soon began spending most of his life on the road and developed a strong relationship with New York. By the late 90s he’d become a full time singer-songwriter – André Herman Düne – as part of three piece indie-rock band, Herman Düne. Several albums and Peel sessions  later and after a decade of touring Europe, mostly with American songwriters such as Jeffrey Lewis, Calvin Johnson and early Arcade Fire he settled in Berlin. The early carnival music of Trinidad became a passion, and in the early 21st century he became the unquestioned master of European calypso, changing his name to Stanley Brinks. Under this moniker he has recorded more than 100 albums, collaborated with the New York Antifolk scene on several occasions, recorded and toured with traditional Norwegian musicians, and played a lot with The Wave Pictures.  

The Wave Pictures are David Tattersall, Franic Rozycki and Jonny ‘Huddersfield’ Helm. Formed in 1998 when Franic and David lived in a village called Wymeswold, the band played with several drummers until Jonny became a permanent member in 2003 replacing Hugh J Noble. In the beginning the band learned to play together by covering Jonathan Richman songs but soon David was writing lots of original material. 

They have since released six  studio albums to critical acclaim and played numerous sessions on BBC 6 Music, Radio 1 and Xfm. Interest generated from these recordings has enabled The Wave Pictures to play shows all over the world with artists including Jeffrey Lewis, Darren Hayman, Stanley Brinks, Freschard and Herman Düne.

“Tequila Island is every bit as joyous as you’d imagine a desert island with a well stocked bar would be. The meandering afro-beat influenced guitar line and prominent flute line provide the melody, as the infectious coming together of percussion and bass add a toe-tapping propulsion. Stanley has suggested Tequila was not just the influence for the songwriting, but also the recording sessions, where Mexico’s finest was used to keep out the balmy North London-night; which might explain why it’s the loosest and quite possibly most fun they’ve ever sounded.” For The Rabbits

“I like this album, it's a nice soup of folk, americana, Dylan-lite, with lots of drum brushes pattering away and acoustic guitars strummed softly.” Norman Records

Tequila begins in ruminative mode, with some gorgeous, intuitive guitar playing by David Tattersall of The Wave Pictures. This is the fifth (or so) album which that group has made backing up singer Brinks, AKA Andre Herman Dune from Herman Dune. It’s similar to the others, in its loose demeanor and reach for pop simplicity (a la Jonathan Richman, Sam Cooke, etc.), and its stumbling from beauty to wit to goofing around. Each song doubles as a drinking song; “Tequila” is in the name, after all. The album overall is a folk-sy ramble, with a lovelorn troubadour in search of something. “I've got tequila in my heart,” is his slogan; somebody should get that tattooed on their arm” Big Takeover

“Brinks and The Wave Pictures pair detailed yet understated indie-folk weedling with the horizontal, alcohol-soaked relaxation that this sort of yacht-rock is often characterised by. The general instrumental foundation remains solid overall, driven by warm acoustic guitars that stick almost exclusively to simple melodies, but find a way to use them well in the lilting shuffle of Like A Fool and the title track, or the quicker-stepping dalliance into country on Like A Song. It’s all very tastefully produced as well, keeping everything relatively quiet and low-key, but simultaneously highlighting the pockets of detail that brings a nice sharpness and crispness to it all.” The Soundboard

“Two alt-indie cult acts for the price of one. Stanley Brinks of Herman Düne is a good match for the loose American-laced sound that The Wave Pictures muster. Comes in lyric inner sleeve on spectacular vinyl, transparent but spattered with teal!” The Arts Desk

“Musically speaking there are similarities with that record [Gin] too (I think it goes without saying that much of this record features jazzy guitar lines and a stripped back rhythm section), but there are also subtle changes in style, such as the country / rock n roll themed "Like a Fool" or "Like a Song", both of which have an air of The Byrds' Sweetheart of the Rodeo about them.” Cracklefeedback

“sounds like the whole thing is a teenage “band” recording in the kitchen, on a vintage cassette recorder borrowed from their gran. That’s after they’ve spent an entire year listening to the first Modern Lovers and Talking Heads albums” God is in the TV