If you’ve held your ears close to the ground back in the latter ’70s, early ’80s, you likely heard of a new band by the name of The Feelies. Once dubbed by the great NYC paper, Village Voice, “the best underground band in New York”, The Feelies certainly could deliver an effective and heavy dose of pure NYC-flavored Rock, influenced a bit by early Talking Heads.
Over the years, The Feelies released four albums. And while none resonated more than their 1980 masterpiece, Crazy Rhythms, they were four great albums that did the job well. In fact, over the years, I find myself returning to them frequently. Crazy Rhythms was first released on Stiff Records (and all of you late ’70s, early ’80s music aficionados know about Stiff Records). With that, they captured the interest of a whole lot of us ‘close to the underground’ music lovers.
After Crazy Rhythms, two members left creating a seemingly unfillable hole. It was, however, ably filled by three more musicians who gave as much to The Feelies’ sound and legacy as the two that preceded them. This band released The Good Earth in 1986, Only Life in 1988, and Time For A Witness in 1991. They went on a long hiatus before reassembling for the excellent Here Before in 2011.
It should now be known or, at least, remembered, that Glenn Mercer, and Bill Million have been in The Feelies since the beginning. Therefore, it’s refreshing news to discover that Glenn Mercer is releasing his second solo album, Incidental Hum. His first, Wheels In Motion, was released back in 2007. It should be known here that it was a great album. If you haven’t heard it, now’s the time to get to it.
Glenn Mercer has released a new set, Incidental Hum on October 9 via Bar/None Records (we cover this back in September in a TAPSheet installment). But because of how freakin’ good it is, I felt that I should bring it to your attention in a more frontal way. Incidental Hum issues on CD, DD, and vinyl LP.
Incidental Hum is comprised largely of original instrumentals. Over the decades, Mercer (along with Bill Million) has shown his classic influence of instrumentals with a love toward Eno, Bowie’s Low, Philip Glass, and others. In fact, on this new album, Mercer covers Brian Eno’s “Here Come the Warm Jets”. (In addition to that cover track, Mercer also covers “Over The Rainbow”, and creates a chaotic but enjoyable cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Third Stone From The Sun”.) The music heard on Incidental Hum is of the variety that reverbs around inside your cranial casing for a long time after hearing it. (I have the same effect with James Brooks’ engaging Land Observations instrumental efforts, The Grand Tour, and Roman Roads. They just keep playing…!)
I recommend Incidental Hum. But more importantly, I just wanted to let you know that it’s out, and that it’s a fine work.