Ahead of the release of new album “Appalling Human” this Friday via Moshi Moshi, Wesley Gonzalez is sharing a cover of Sports Men by the beloved and influential Japanese musician and producer Haruomi Hosono.
Wesley explains what this particular track means to him:
“Haruomi Hosono has become my most enduring influence, since discovering his music towards the end of my time in my previous band Let’s Wrestle, it informed so much of what kind of artist I wanted to be on my own. Not just in terms of songwriting and production but even in the aesthetics of the artwork and videos he did either on his own or with Yellow Magic Orchestra. I was recommended the album Philharmony and that’s what got me gripped, to find someone who makes abstract experimental gamalean-esque tracks and covers Italian opera but can also write a song as fantastically pop as ‘Sports Men’ enthralling and his entire discography has been an absolute gift. I usually find I have year long love affairs with certain artists and move on to someone else but I’ve continued an absolute obsession with his work. So I felt a need to express my adoration with this cover, not something I tend to make a big habit of but I had such fun rebuilding the synth parts and adding a new rhythmic element to the chorus It was an absolute pleasure. It’s one of those tracks that should get as much respect as something like ‘Once In A Lifetime’ by Talking Heads or ‘ Ashes To Ashes’ in my opinion at least.”
In the run-up to the release of new album “Appalling Human” this Friday, Wesley will also perform live at a virtual in-store for Banquet Records, streaming through their Facebook channel on June 10th HERE
Along with therapy, taking better care of himself and a switch from guitars to learning and writing on piano, it was the choice of people to work with that helped him into this new creative phase.The new line up around Wesley was completed by the bassist Joe Chilton, singer Rose Dougal, drummer Bobby Voltaire and Callum Duffy on synths. They’d sit back and accommodate his demanding notion of how things should sound.
As the new way of working unblocked Gonzalez’ creativity on the first record, so too did new listening lead to stepping up his ambition for the scope and sound of its follow-up. He was going in for work each day at a Soho record shop, wanting to throw himself into traffic, then patching himself up with music.
“I was listening to loads of house music, hip hop, soul and funk. The more dance music you listen to, the more you go like ‘Oh, it’s OK not to be dreary the entire time.'”
Despite all the electronic prostheses that grace his solo project, at the heart of his music there is a depth to the song writing and a singular character to it. There’s an eccentricity somewhat akin to Harry Nilsson, or Andy Partridge of XTC, and a kind of melancholy (lost)innocence. His sensitive feel for characters and situations is simply unparalleled in his peer group. It’s a depth that becomes more and more apparent with each release.
Wesley Gonzalez – Appalling Human tracklisting
1. Tried To Tell Me Something
2. Wind Your Neck In
3. Friend At First
4. A Fault In Your Design
6. Come Through & See Me
7. Girl, You’re My Family Now
8. Used To Love You
9. Fault Of The Family
10. The Mice
11. If I’m Sad
12. Did You Get What You Paid For?
Pre-order the album HERE
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