Classic pop and amorous poetry...
Let's Wrestle

They’ve come a long way from babes with a clutch of cunningly catchy singles beneath their belts, to a band with genuine classic songwriting chops – but that’s where we find London’s Let’s Wrestle on their third studio LP, an eponymous set released via Fortuna Pop on February 10th.

‘Let’s Wrestle’ builds on the successes of 2009’s ‘In The Court Of The Wrestling Let’s’ and 2011’s ‘Nursing Home’ by combining creative core Wesley Patrick Gonzalez’s winningly observational lyricism with music that is both progressive for its makers and respectful of previous-generation influences.

Gonzalez has said that ‘Let’s Wrestle’ takes inspiration from the likes of Fairport Convention, The Kinks and Judee Sill. We’ll take some of that, thought Clash, and asked the man for a Playlist – which he’s delivered. Check it out after the video for Let’s Wrestle’s latest single, ‘Codeine & Marshmallows’.

- - -

- - -

The Beatles – ‘Sexy Sadie’

“My favourite band. I picked ‘Sexy Sadie’ as the plan for the new record was to try and make it as ‘White Album’-esque as possible, and this song is one of my favourites from that album. Though I have a different favourite song each day.”

- - -

The Flying Burrito Brothers – ‘Hot Burrito #1’

“The irrepressible Gram Parsons, what a f*cking dude in his Nudie suit. Though how could you be this sad if you were in a Nudie suit? This brand of California country along is very close to my heart – we got Darren Hayman to play B-Bender (link) on a couple of the songs on the new album to get the sweet Byrds’ Clarence White vibe.” 

- - -

Slapp Happy and Henry Cow – ‘A Worm Is At Work’

“A collaborative affair, I'm much more of a Slapp Happy guy than a Henry Cow guy, though there ain’t anything wrong with them. I like a lot of European experimental music, but usually I can only listen to a bit at a time. With Slapp Happy, they are a lot more poppy and fun.” 

- - -

Peggy Lee – ‘Is That All There Is?’

“A beautiful song, beautifully bleak. I love the trad jazz feel it has, it really makes it feel like an event listening to it – like you are at a really horrible carnival. It also makes me think I want to get into trad jazz – I haven’t committed to that idea yet, though. Also, this has a brilliant arrangement by one of my heroes, Randy Newman.”

- - -

Nora Guthrie – ‘Home Before Dark’

“Nora is Woody Guthrie’s daughter. I’m not saying that to put anything on this track, as I don’t like Woody Guthrie for the record. But this is really beautiful orchestral pop. I believe she only released this one 7”, which is a real shame!”

- - -

The Kinks – ‘Strangers’

“A brilliant Kinks song, from Dave not Ray. We heard it in the van when we were touring in the States. It made me miss home, so I really latched on to it. We formed the band in Muswell Hill, where The Kinks are from. I listened to them a lot during the making of the new record, but I suppose I have always listened to them a lot.”

- - -

Marvin Gaye – ‘Anna’s Song’

“I started listening to soul music a lot whilst making the new LP, and I really like the Marvin Gaye record ‘Here My Dear’, from which this is taken. It was one of the albums that really opened my eyes to a lot more soul records. It’s weird, because I was never a big fan of soul music – I think maybe because I cringe at some of the lyrics, and generally hate the term “making love”, which seems to be used a lot. But I am very glad to be converted, as I have been missing out on it for years.”

- - -

John Lennon and Yoko Ono – ‘Listen, The Snow Is Falling’

“Yoko is fantastic and constantly underrated, usually by f*cking morons who don’t know what they are talking about. Yoko rules, deal with it. Listen to this and tell me otherwise, dickweeds!”

- - -

John Betjeman – ‘The Cockney Amorist’

“I love John Betjeman and his direct references to London – it makes me see the city in such a romantic way. I met my girlfriend at a party when I was on copious amounts of drugs, but I think our conversation about John Betjeman was maybe the only sign there was something to me other than a drooling, snorting, sweaty mess, so for that I will be forever grateful to him.” 

- - -

American Spring – ‘Fallin’ In Love’

“This is Brian Wilson’s wife and her sister – who I think was also Brian’s lover, but that could have been the third sister – all produced by Brian, too. Which is quite impressive seeing as this was made in the early ‘70s, when he was eating birthday cakes in bed all the time.”

- - -

Find more Playlist features here

‘Let’s Wrestle’ is released via Fortuna Pop on February 10th. Find the band on Facebook and Tumblr.

Buy Clash magazine
Clash on the App Store


Follow Clash: