“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists & music people beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day. Today’s guest is one half of studied instrumental twin guitar noise band Markers. Along with Jodie Cox (from the band Ursa), Jason Carty (Geiger Counter) both came from London math rock bands in the late 90s/early 00’s and were associated with the record label House of Stairs.

They’ve also played in bands including Bullet Union, Exes, Narrows, Earth, Sex Swing, Foe and Art of Burning Water before finding each other and I was drawn to them because they’ve covered the song “Pastoral”  (of the album “Head”) from one of my all-time favourite bands The Jesus Lizard in an uncharacteristically elegiac moment featuring a metallic lament from one of my all-time guitar players Duane Denison. They’ve made it even more funereal, and kept its majestic potency for which I’m thankful. It serves as a little teaser, a free to download dangle to the charms of a new band, and it did its trick on me. There’s also a first album incoming, four years in the making, called “Heaven In The Dark Earth” and it’s like Mogwai met The God Machine. I’m pleased to introduce to you and welcome to these pages, with an erudite double headed song choice, Jason Carty!

Markers music is cinematic and noir, and you won’t be surprised that they dig the score from composers like Ry Cooder (Paris, Texas), Johnny Greenwood (There Will Be Blood) and Angelo Badalamenti (Twin Peaks) but it’s a different kind of twin curio on offer with Jason’s choice of tune. Without further ado, it’s over to Jason for his “song for ewe”…

“This strange pop / psych / pop song first caught my ear on Stuart Maconie’s Freak Zone show on BBC6 Music a few years ago. The version he played was by a band called The She Trinity, who released it as a B side for a single in 1970. It’s a fantastic track, full of devilish guitar riffs, mixed with stuttering, choppy rhythmic sections, and then balanced with interesting vocal parts, often with multiple harmonies layered on top of each other. The vibe is totally cooking and the musicianship top notch, without being pretentious.

Now it gets weirder. It turns out that the song was actually written and recorded by another band called The Onyx three years earlier in 1967, around the time when Hendrix was first setting the scene ablaze – his influence on the track is palpable. The Onyx’s version has their male vocals on it instead. The She Trinity simply re-recorded their all-female vocals for their version, keeping all the original music recorded by The Onyx. We might try this technique with our band for the next album!

Here I present both versions for you to compare. Which one do you prefer? Or do you like both for their slightly different flavours?

The Onyx’s original version…

The She Trinity’s version…

“Heaven In The Dark Earth” by Markers is out on 22nd Feb, markers our word…

check out the link for more deets:

on Markers Bandcamp page.

While you’re here, you might want to check out the most recent “song for ewe” choice by Duane Denison of The Jesus Lizard too.