The See See – Days, Nights & Late Morning Lights (compilation)

The See See - Days, Nights & Late Morning Lights

The See See – Days, Nights & Late Morning Lights

Being one of the few ‘living and active’ bands signed to the discerning reissue-centric Sundazed label is an unquestionable honour for The See See, the London-based ensemble led by Richard Olson (formerly of The Eighteenth Day Of May) that has released a stream of sought-after 7” singles and two albums since 2008, via mainly UK routes.  After just one spin of Days, Nights & Late Morning Lights it’s easy to hear why The See See joined the Sundazed roster, as the band’s retro-shaped psyche-pop fits with near-seamless stylistic ease amongst the myriad of choice archive wares that the label has reupholstered over the years.

Conceived primarily for the benefit of American buyers – who have thus far relied on expensive imports – Days, Nights & Late Morning Lights scoops up choice material formerly aired on labels such as The Great Pop Supplement and Dell’Orso, along with a couple of unreleased recordings and the A-side of a 2013 Sundazed single.  Whilst this selective ‘story so far’ approach might seem a tad reductive for existing fans eager for a new LP, it does really help to highlight the band’s strengths in a refreshed context.  Moreover, the fact that around half of the gathered tracks where previously released as singles undoubtedly gives the collection a sustained tightly-wound momentum.

See_See_2There’s certainly enough here then to celebrate The See See’s jubilant and unrepentantly authentic plundering from the golden years of mid-‘60s to early-‘70s lysergic power-pop.  Hence there is plenty of dynamic Fifth Dimension-to-Younger Than Yesterday-era Byrds folk-rock (such as “Gold & Honey” and “Keep Your Head”), paisley-patterned garage-psyche (“Automobile” and “The Day That Was The Day”), hazy harmony-drenched vintage Californian blissfulness (“Fix Me Up” and “And I Wonder”) and wistful country-rock rambling (“Powers Of Ten” and “That’s My Sign”).  Perhaps the only piece to buck the omnipresent vintage fittings is the previously unreleased electro-acoustic version of “Mary Soul,” which wouldn’t sound too out of place on an early Spiritualized album.

Although the authentic conventions that Olson and compadres so dutifully align themselves to do sometimes hold back a more bespoke identity from pushing to the fore, there is no doubting that The See See’s consummate craftsmanship is deeply infectious as well as adaptable, as Days, Nights & Late Morning Lights satisfyingly showcases.  Based on this evidence and from hearing the fantastic Featherman EP from late last year on The Great Pop Supplement, there are plenty of reasons to believe even better things are set to come from The See See.  So keep ‘em peeled for another brand new album in the near future.