London Bound - Just Handshakes (from ‘Say It’ LP)
Sadly 2013 saw San Diego’s fabulous Bleeding Gold label deciding to take a sabbatical, bringing down the curtain (at least for the time being!) on a four year lifespan that delivered innumerable delights. Chief amongst those in 2013 was certainly the ‘Say It’ album by Just Handshakes. Having dropped the ‘(we’re British)’ from their name this Leeds band turned in a divine set of poised, accomplished guitar driven Pop with a quirky folk undertow. Vocally it immediately put me in mind of Natalie Merchant in her early days with 10,000 Maniacs and standout track ‘London Bound’ stood as some kind of magical 21st Century update of ‘Mother The War’, complete with a ‘Power, Corruption and Lies’ style melodic bass line that sent shivers down my spine. A swirling, spiralling sensation of a song, it remains as one of the most hauntingly danceable numbers of the year.