Simpático - Postal Museum EP

matinée 022  /  February 2001
Simpático - Postal Museum EP
cdep   $5.00

digital   $4.00

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Simpático - Postal Museum EP

matinée 022  /  February 2001

A happy return to the Matinée catalogue for Sweet William vocalist and guitarist Jason Sweeney with his new project Simpático. Combining strummed guitars and earnest vocals with electronic rhythms and keyboards, these four exclusive songs are seductive and sublime, not unlike the practiced brilliance of Brian, Pale Saints, Trembling Blue Stars, or Magnetic Fields. Matinée is delighted to offer the debut single from one of tomorrow's household names.

  1. Union Station
  2. Pheromone Stars
  3. The Postal Museum
  4. Song For Steven


Australia's Simpático turn in a clutch of tunes right out of the mists of time inhabited by the Field Mice circa 'Missing The Moon', which is to say some mighty fine mists indeed. The sound of holding your breath and kissing the earrings of snow angels, no less.   --Tangents
Four new four-track cdeps from Matinée Recordings, the current home of softly strummed guitars and unashamed melodies, which between them go a little further towards cementing its reputation as the best of the North American post-Sarah labels. Pick of the 16 songs neatly arrayed within these is Simpático's "Union Station", which uses to best effect the Field Mice-ish stylings of sequencer, rolling, humming bass, charmingly obvious drum machine, and sweet guitars as Jason Sweeney hangs his moral - "life is cruel to boys like [us]" - on a single tale of lost love. The other tracks aren't too bad either, even if they don't exactly mess with the template: especially "Pheromone Stars" as it annexes a sweet Belle & Sebastian stream of consciousness to the drum pattern from the Field Mice's "Sensitive".   --In Love With These Times In Spite Of These Times
This is the debut E.P. from Simpatico, and the twenty-second release of "pop music" label Matinée, which specialises in “jangly guitars, emotive vocals, trumpets, strings and ba-da-bas”. Simpatico is basically a solo project featuring Jason Sweeney, who is helped occasionally by his friend Cailan Burns on keyboards. Some of you may remember Jason Sweeney as the singer and guitarist of Sweet William, an Australian four piece from a few years ago. I have now become a fan of Simpatico,and then from it Sweet William. It was the need to release Sweet William that caused the creation of Matinée recordings. They released two excellent EPs – ‘Dutch Mother’ and ‘Lovely Norman’, both of which featured three songs each and both which are still available. Now the wonderful talent that is Jason Sweeney has moved on to Simpatico. To be honest there is hardly any difference between his former group and the current one. Both feature simple guitar playing and a hint of electronica. If you are a Sweet William fan then you will be a Simpatico fan automatically, and vice-versa. The sound seems to be heavily influenced by British indie music and I wouldn’t have guessed that Sweeney is in fact Australian. The first song is ‘Union Station’. It is very simple musically with a repeated acoustic guitar line and keyboard percussion. The music is upbeat but is contrasted with mournful vocals and sad lyrics. It is catchy, simple, and melodic but the songwriting is strong. Lyrically it talks of how the “world is hard for boys like me and girls like me”. It takes a few listens to really appreciate but it perfectly represents Jason Sweeney’s style. The EP continues with the even better ‘Pheromone Stars’. It is very similar to the opening track but is more instantly catchier and slightly quicker. It is probably the record’s highpoint, and is the most lyrically imaginative. The title track is then followed by “Song For Steven”. Both these continue the high standards of the first two tracks, and continues to be reasonably simplistic with the sound focusing on Sweeney’s vocals. As I played this record more it is the vocals that started to really impress me. I can’t quite decide what makes them so strong, but they are very direct, powerful and really fit well with the tunes. This debut release is immensely promising. Some people will find its simplicity irritating and will hate it I’m sure, but any fan of traditional indie music is bound to be impressed. Jason Sweeney seems to be developing into a wonderful talent and I’ll look forward to his first album, whenever it appears.   --Pennyblack Magazine
Why Sweeney switched names for his next EP, released on Matinée under the name Simpático, I don't know. The instrumentation is less obdurately synthetic than OPC, but the roots are similar, and it's not far from this to Sweet William, either. The sparkling, slightly wheezy "Union Station" sounds like a lost Field Mice demo. "Pheromone Stars" rattles along on a New Order-like toy-jackhammer beat, but "The Postal Museum" is becalmed and blurry, drifting towards Trembling Blue Stars territory. "Song for Steven" might be the one with the most potential, jittery drums dopplering in and out under chiming, Smiths-ish guitar and distracted vocals. I'm still not sure whether I expect Sweeney to contribute any extrapolation to this canon, in addition to the interpolation, but there are certainly plenty of EP-sized holes to fill if that's the role he wants.   --The War Against Silence
Jason Sweeney, previously of Sweet William, has several current musical projects - the one that comes closest to the Sweet William sound is Simpatico, who have a 4 song CD, the Postal Museum EP. This is drum-machine-powered indiepop in the same vein as The Field Mice. If you were a Field Mice fan but thought Bob Wratten's subsequent bands weren't/aren't quite in the same league, Simpatico could well be the band you've been looking for.   --Aquamarine
This is Jas Sweeney who used to be known as Sweet William (they have had several great records out on Matinée, Shelflife, Twee Kitten, etc.) and while this is known as his more “electronic” project to me it sounds just like Sweet William with a slightly electronic beat. “Pheromone Stars” sounds like the best Field Mice tunes with a wistful jangle permeating the proceedings and the title track is quite swoony. “Song for Steven” is an anthem with this epic guitar slash that I need to hear over and over again.   --Dagger
I actually have a tape LP from this group and I haven't even listened to it yet as I wanted to put it to CD. Oh well, too many pans in the fire. In any event, in case you didn't know this band is the outlet of Aussie Jason Sweeney of the late and brilliant Sweet William. I always thought the Ambiguous EP was the magnum opus of his former group and I kind of feel that that must be the case about this. The opening track Union Station is about as heart renderingly lovely as a song can be, and is really this man's stock in trade. What's magical is it's done with lyrics which are so simple yet powerfully sung; "The world is cruel/To boys like me/and boys like you..." The biggest difference between this band and Sweet William is perhaps he uses synth lines more, but guitar plays an important part in the songs still. It usually takes something special for me to advise buying 4 song outings but this one comes about as heartily endorsed as anything can be.   --Indie Spinzone