Track: Reigning Sound – ‘Oh Christine’: a sweet Americana lament from returning Memphis cult heroes

Reigning Sound takin' it to the bridge. Photographed by Jamie Harman

RETURNING Memphis prodigals Reigning Sound have followed up the the classy garage-rock soul of “A Little More Time” from last month with another little cracker on the path to their first album in seven years. That’s called “Oh Christine”, it’s herein, and it comes with a quality assurance from the man himself, Greg Cartwright, who rates it as one of his favourite songs on the new LP.

And y’know, he’s a decent judge of a song: it mixes it up, Southern soul, a classic rock’n’roll aesthetic and a classy Americana yearning, guitars harmonising away with crispness. Sweet.

‘Greg says: “’Oh Christine’ was written as a folk ballad, but when Graham started playing 4/4 behind me at rehearsal, it took on a whole different feel.

“The counterpoint of the electric guitar, the double-time bridge, everything about it just fell right into place. I love it when that happens.”

The lyric “Spring has come, winter’s gone / And the seasons seem strange / Time may pass but time won’t change,” of course hold an extra depth in this long pandemic year of years, as second time around in purdah things begin to indicate how long it’s been now.

A Little More Time is the first in-studio collaboration with Reigning Sound’s original Memphis lineup of Greg on guitar and vocals, bassist Jeremy Scott, drummer Greg Roberson, and Alex Greene on keyboards since 2005’s Home for Orphans LP, which Merge reissued last year.

On the new one – for details, see below – they’re joined by cellist Elen Wroten and her sister Krista on violin; additional drums and percussion come from Graham Winchester and John Whittemore adds pedal steel. The Ettes and Parting Gifts’ Coco Hames adds her vocals to one track, too: “Just Say When.”

Get that seven-year itch scratched in May.

A Little More Time with Reigning Sound will be out from Merge on May 21st on CD and LP; you can pre-order your copy here. Oh, Rough Trade have an exclusive pink and purple swirl pressing for the UK only, which you can order here.

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