Checking In, Checking Out – The High Llamas

Sean O’Hagan has been a large, yet somewhat unsung part of two of my favorite bands. He’s done a lot of work with both Stereolab and the Super Furry Animals. In fact, if his best work with SFA (“Frequency”, from the album Love Kraft) was available on Youtube, I’d be posting that instead, but such is life.

So having heard his name over and over, I decided to check out the High Llamas a few years ago. And while it’s taking time to get myself sold on the whole catalog, the first song I ever checked out was this one from a collection of b-sides and rarities. And since being all “Beach Boys-esque” is really cool these days, I figured this was a good time to post a Sean O’Hagan song.

But seriously, search for and listen to “Frequency” by SFA. It’s probably my favorite SFA song, and the strings are a huge part of that. Or, in the alternative, if Pinko will let me send him the track to do the plug-in thing, I can do that too.

4 Responses to “Checking In, Checking Out – The High Llamas”

  • That is so 70s. A tiny bit like Mojave 3 with the slight country patina and a sunny 70s laid back vibe. I like some parts of this song a super lot, but not quite the whole package. I’d say there’s also some Nilsson in there. And some Steely Dan in the vocals.

  • I don’t know what’s up with the last two minutes or so of the song. I don’t think that’s on the original track. I think the Youtuber kind of screwed that up. Ignore that part.

  • Yeah, I just checked. The original track is only 5:47 long.

  • The Uncanny Canadian

    I agree with Pinko. Parts of it I liked, but it kind of meanders musically. More like Wondermints than Beach Boys. Too bad about the last two minutes. It is kind of interesting. Almost like an Smile-esque take on What a Wonderful World into. High Llamas have always been on my radar screen, but only a tiny blip in the distance.

    I do 100% agree about Frequency down to the strings and everything. The whole of Love Kraft is really very very good, and it was largely overlooked, but Frequency is such a standout. I actually wanted to do it for SoftD way back when, but couldn’t find an online version to post.

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