SINGLE REVIEW: Cold Culprits – ‘My Sweetest Friend’


The thing about Cold Culprits, and I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before, is that you never quite know what’s coming next. And this is yet another example of that.

Instead of his (for those of you that don’t know Cold Culprits is one person Andy Watson) usual NY punky influence output this is something indie and poppy. It’s pop with an indie edge as opposed to indie-pop. There’s a difference. It kinda harks back to 60s’ guitar pop. It does that great thing – you can dance to it and sit down and listen to it; I’m sure I’m not the only person who likes music that does that.

The first thing to say is that this track has a tune that is so damn earwormy. It’s so earwormy that I’ve begun to curse Andy for writing such a catchy tune; I just can’t get it out of my head.

The music is guitar led with hints of a violin sound in there. There are some snazzy little guitar touches but these sit in the background – this is no rock song. And over this Andy sings the sweetest vocals; nowhere to be heard is his usual punky sneery vocal. They are a joy, and a surprise. There’s something else about this track that makes it stand out, and that’s the sound of sorrow, of sadness, in both the music and the vocals. There’s a bittersweet feel.

Andy says about the song “I’m not entirely sure where this song came from. It’s the product of a freezing cold January, stuck in a house with no double glazing. I usually start the writing on an old acoustic guitar, trying out chord combinations and working on lyrics. For My Sweetest Friend, I just had this feeling. Sort of uneasy and empty. I wrote a few words around it, then played arpeggios on the electric guitar, rising and descending relentless notes. It all sort of fell into place pretty quickly from there, but getting the right violin sounds for the ending is a whole different story.”

This was a surprise, a wonderful surprise, but then I’m getting used to Andy doing that. I love a great pop song and this is very definitely that. We all need some great pop in our lives – in all it’s many forms – and this is fits that need perfectly.

The info

This release from North Yorkshire indie rock solo artist, Cold Culprits, follows on from January’s release of ‘Great Escape’.

Cold Culprits, aka Andy Watson, formed a band in 2018 to focus on original and cover material. When this evolved into a pure indie rock covers band, Andy needed an outlet for his creativity. He learned drums and keyboards to underpin his vocals and guitar, and Cold Culprits was born. After a string of singles in 2020, Cold Culprits begins 2021 with a tighter, more polished approach.

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Frank is the website guy for Local Sound Focus. Takes a lot of photos and loves writing about new music.