Normally when the press release comes swaggering in, all talk of glorious years and rave reviews of live slots supporting the great and good I have to take it on its word, but leave it. Not so when it comes to the hugely talented and charismatic Meilyr Jones: he supported Richard Hawley on his recent tour, and I have first-hand and not soon-to-be-forgotten knowledge of the utterly fantastic joy of experiencing his live, full band set.
How To Recognise A Work Of Art, the new single from the former Race Horses frontman, is no less of a thrill. Exploring authenticity and the cult of the artist, the song makes a soulful indie star of Jones and bursts with sounds and ideas. Its effect is roughly what you’d get if you multiply the excitement of discovering Belle & Sebastian going Northern Soul with the clipped thrills of the percussive precision of Field Music.
As Jones says:
I wrote the song about the preposterous world of art collectors, the panic of what is popular, what will succeed, telling people what to like, what to eat, and the recycling of pop culture. I also wanted to make something light and fun, and full of humour.
The video, meanwhile, was inspired by Fellini’s 8 1/2:
I imagined the story of the video to the song really clearly and worked with Theatre director Wils Wilson to bring to life the ideas in my head. I love getting people together. My grandmother was an amateur theatre director and I loved going to watch her rehearsing plays in the evenings when I was a boy, you’d see people from the town making the costumes, and singing, my granddad would have designed the set, and the spirit of the whole thing was great. We worked with a group of 12 actors, and over a period of 4 days, transformed a warehouse in Cardiff from scratch to a film set, building and painting the sets.
How To Recognise A Work Of Art is out on January 8th, via Moshi Moshi.