THE HELICOPTER OF THE HOLY GHOST
Former Britpopper pulls songs from the wreckage of the past – literally.
If the music on this British collective’s debut album is difficult to place in time, there’s a good reason: it was lost for nearly 20 years. The Helicopter Of The Holy Ghost’s guitarist and songwriter Billy Reeves was a member of briefly hyped mid-90s Britpoppers Theaudience alongside future pop queen Sophie Ellis-Bextor, before putting together a new band, Yours, and signing to Sony. But his career was almost curtailed in a near-fatal car crash in 2000. He survived, but spent time in a coma. His brother found demos of these songs on two MiniDiscs in the wreckage of the car, though amnesia meant Reeves had no memory of writing them.
Twenty years on, Reeves has revisited the material afresh. The songs were originally written as commercial, pop tracks for Sony, but time has given them extra depth. Reeves references Caravan and Robert Wyatt, and the addition of contemplative piano from Crayola Lectern and Bluetones frontman/fellow Britpop refugee Mark Morriss turns these melodic songs into something poetic – even the lengthy Tony Got
A Car ends with reflective piano coda. The result is a lovely album, shot through with melancholy.