Imagine a melancholic indie / soul troubadour who sings songs that stylistically lay somewhere between that of Richard Hawley and a downbeat Alex Turner, demonstrates an ability to produce classic song craft and is one of the better things we’ve heard this week. Congratulations you’ve just imagined Various Cruelties – a relatively new unsigned act formed by a man named Liam O’Donnell from Leeds, now hovering around London – White City to be precise. Liam has in the past played some solo shows, but now Various Cruelties are a fully formed four piece. The group have already picked up support slots with The Vaccines and Villagers (showing that someone likes them) and their next confirmed show is in Oxford at the end of this month.
We’ve only heard three songs by the band, but they all sound damn fine. Cold As You is a brassy groove that picks up on Liam’s stated influence of Sam Cooke – it rolls along with tasteful retro flavoured abandon, whilst Chemicals (streaming below) is a torch song / anthem in the making that implores you to “put your faith, put your trust in the chemicals” after suggesting that “if it’s meant to be, the universe is going to throw it back to me.” The third track If It Wasn’t For You is all twangy guitars and heartfelt vocals showing that the band has variety and ability. It won’t be cruel if we get to hear more from this lot.
You can hear all these songs from the band at their Bandcamp – and in what we suspect is going to become an ever growing trend – Various Cruelties don’t even have a Myspace. In terms of finding them though the only difficulty you may have is locating any records they release physically - they could get muddled up in the Various Artists compilations section of your local indie emporium!
CHEMICALS by VARIOUS_CRUELTIES