Album Review: Cousins – First Cousins

March 12, 2012 Categories: ALBUM REVIEWS, ALL ARTICLES, MUSIC by 7 Comments

It is unbelievable that in an age where we are hard wired to seek out the undiscovered and elevate the unknown to ubiquitous cool in the blink of an eye that someone as talented as Euros Childs can remain a secret. It seems that we are caught in an epidemic of newness or trapped in a cycle of the ‘cannon of old’, we can only be excited about the entirely fresh-out-of-the-wrapper new band or celebrate the much lauded old or obscure act, both remain on safe territory. To engage with or be impressed by an established acts new work or impressed by their impeccable output seems to be a thing of the past or terribly uncool, imagine liking something by someone people have heard of before? How awful.

When Beck realised the astonishing Modern Guilt it was greeted with all the enthusiasm of your average apathetic teen: ‘oh here’s Beck again’ or with every Super Furry Animals release they seem to slide further into fan-centric obscurity. It begs the question that if you were to put a different name on these albums/acts or invent an outlandish back story would they be listened to/written about with dizzying fervour?

In any right thinking world, Euros Childs would be celebrated, back catalogues written about in minuet detail in Mojo and Uncut but maybe they’ll just wait until he’s expired and do a retrospective love-in like with Nick Drake or Nilsson. Until that day he’ll hopefully plough on creating such thrilling oddities as the new act he’s involved in, Cousins.

Like Jonny, his collaboration with Norman Blake from Teenage Fanclub, Cousins is a group effort which sees Euros sharing vocal duties with Meilyr Jones and features as an accessible bunch of hypnotic would-be hits as any of his previous output.

Although First Cousins is an altogether darker affair, it may still be the pop fist of fun smacking you on the shoulder but this time it’s aiming for the jaw too.  The perfectly formed Palpable Depression and its mantra of ‘put the kettle on/wipe your feet/ahhh that’s neat!’ is a true pop dichotomy. A song moored in the crushing fixed routine of the domestic but managing to alleviate any churning sadness with its jaunty spirit and repeated trance-like repetitiveness, it’s so good it should be prescribed.

Child’s gift is his songs deceptive simplicity. They rattle along like folksy nursery rhymes embedding themselves into your brain and your heart before you realise some of their bleak, murky undertones. He manages to lift the mundane, everyday themes into something thoughtful and inspiring like his tribute to bread on the Jonny album or his hymn to boots and the general smug satisfaction of modern living on Look at my Boots.

Here he works his unique magic on such tracks as I’m a Yellow Bag which is sung from the perspective of a plastic bag. With that title and his knack for breezy pop, it should be a fun, charming tribute to our shopping carrying heroes but in fact it’s a disturbingly eerie, off kilter keyboard led lament about environmental destruction and the urban landscape. Its final devastating refrain of ‘I’ll be here when you’ve gone’ is more touching and effective than one of Damon’s Gorillaz environmental lectures ever could be.

First Cousins is full to the brim with the whimsy, inventiveness and touches of darkness we expect from Euros Childs and for those who don’t expect much or have grown weary, think again and discover that familiar, comforting feeling of home, your cousins are waiting.


Download First Cousins here :




7 Responses to : Album Review: Cousins – First Cousins

  1. Rhys says:

    Nice review! I’m a massive Euros fan too, been really enjoying this one. If anyone gets the chance to see him live it’s highly recommended that you take that chance!

  2. Eric says:

    What a terrific review. I also think it’s criminal that Euros is (mostly) unknown. Jonny had to cancel their US tour because of poor ticket pre-sales; I was gutted. Euros played in Cleveland for ‘Miracle Inn’ to an audience of less than 50 people, and that’s just wrong.

  3. Mark Donnelly says:

    was directed to this site by the gorkys facebook page and read a wonderful review of Cousins. I love your description of I’m a Yellow Bag, you hit the nail on the head. Euros is really on a roll after Jonny, Ends and now Cousins. I thought I lost him when Facedripping came out. I hope your keeping well Jenn.

  4. John Dunbar says:

    Jonny was my favorite album of 2011, with Euros’ Ends a close second. And now at this early stage of 2012, Cousins is the frontrunner for this year’s best-of. Is there a more underrated artist than Mr. Childs?

  5. enfys says:

    Meilyr is also underrated! Radio Lux / Race Horses have done some totally fantastic pop gems and I am going to link two here, because if people don’t know who he is, they should do
    Such a lovely voice. Welsh music in general is criminally underrated. Cymru am byth.:)

  6. Mark Donnelly says:

    Hi Jenn,

    I really enjoyed reading your Manics interview just now. Can’t believe you got to interview Nicky and James.

    So many killer lines on this website with “Cheryl has all the presence and ego of a frightened sheep” and “less said about the colossal drunken Auntie embarrassment of the parped-up Locomotion the better” being my favourites

    what do you make of the latest Euros Childs album Summer Special. I’m listening to little else these days. ‘Painting Pictures of Summer’ and ‘That Good Old Fashion Feeling’ floor me every time

    Can you better this review from a Gorkys nut who apparently is the Editor of the Belfast Telegragh

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