TOA/V: Tonebanks, Autumn Stones & Black Sails

An interesting building in Fribourg
An interesting building in Fribourg

Catching up with a vengeance! I’m getting my photos together for the write up of my Switzerland sojourn with the lovely Yateses (happy anniversary!), but first some overdue mentions of music you should check out.


I’ve written in praise of the music of Julie Beman before. With her new band The Tonebanks she’s captured a more complex yet still stripped-down sound that meanders between delight and a sometimes aching yearning. I think that spring floats in on the wings of Julie Beman’s voice. Their forthcoming EP Movie delights like a sip of fresh nectar with soaring tunes and whimsical lyrics. It lasts just long enough to warm you right through. From the trippy tones of ‘Hollyhocking’ to the melancholy of ‘Childhood’ you’ll hear a wealth of influences in the Casio beats. The first impression is sweetness, but the ache beneath it keeps it from ever approaching saccharine.


You chat with other Fall fans on Twitter and hey — you discover new music. Autumn Stones has a sound in which you can hear the Fall influence if you listen really hard, but it’s not immediately apparent, more of a ‘I can see how you got there’ sense of recognition. Their new single ‘End of Faith’ actually brings Echo and the Bunnymen to mind in its soundscape and hypnotic rhythms. It doesn’t sound retro so much as a crystalline distillation of memory — just past the three minute mark where it begins to hearken back to Beatles with a touch of ‘Rain’ echoing in there, too. It’s the kind of song that demands replaying so you hear all the layers. Good stuff — check it out.

Black Sails

My pal Jay recommended the show and the music; I was sold by the perfect notion of Toby Stephens as a pirate (why had no one ever thought of this before?!) but I was so accustomed to retread soundtracks that copy the style of existing films or synthesised soundscapes that end up flat and unmemorable. I don’t know anything about McCreary, though I see from others’ reviews here that he’s done quite a lot. The drums enchanted me from the start and the wealth of instruments and the richness of the tones captivated me completely. A real winner even if you never see the show (but the show is good bloody fun!).

As usual, catch up with all the overlooked films, television, radio and music over at Todd’s blog (who will likely fall over in amazement that I’ve actually done one of these posts).


  1. Todd Mason says:

    Well, I’ll split this one between the monthly music and the A/V! BLACK SAILS didn’t sweep me up the one time I looked, but I’m willing to give it another shot (hell, I gave SALEM two).

  2. jayandrew25 says:

    I encountered Bear via the BSG retread – he is a master and anyone who plays the hurdy-gurdy gets props from me! Currently having a Tobe-erdose via The Machine, Orlando and Photographing Fairies ♥

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