singles by choice
(albums when it's necessary)
24 June 2017
(listening with headphones)Avid Acutus
Funk F·XRII
Linn Kilmax DS (Renew)
TEAD Mastergroove
TEAD Vibe 1.5 / Pulse 2
Lehmann Black Cube Linear
Sennheiser HD800

Horsebeach do their drifty, dreamy, eighties sounding floaty thing, and very nice it is too, as Barry Norman always said on Spitting Image. Well, I say “their”, but the sleeve says “written, recorded & performed by Ryan Kennedy”, so perhaps there’s one of those Lightning Seeds things going on. Also, I’d have had an Oxford comma and written “and” in full, but that’s just me. Speaking of which, this is on Alone Together records. The expression “alone together” has always irritated me. Either you’re alone, or you’re together - i.e. with someone.

Rain Paints, whose name, for some reason, I can’t help but read as “Rain Pants” have a sound not a million miles from Horsebeach. That same soft, chorused guitar and low late-night vocals softening and blurring the familiar indiepop template.

3

Whichever one of Shrag it is that writes the words writes good words. Good words there too, eh, word-fans? Stick around, there’ll be more later. Shrag have boy/girl singing, with complicated backing vocals and everything, and it sounds great, but whether it’s my tired mind or what I don’t know, but I can’t follow those great words properly. Still a smart tune though B-side, Sleeprunning repeats the formula and is angsty, anxious, earnest, and catchy.

4

Jessica and the Fletchers do something which namechecks (and, indeed, sounds like) Talulah Gosh, which is perfect because it means I can write “then she stamped her foot, which I thought was brilliant because it reminded me of Talulah Gosh”: probably still the best lyric in all of popular music. They have a boy and a girl singing on their song, and it sounds like they recorded it in a wind-tunnel, on a wax drum. It’s about two minutes long as well, which makes the 33rpm choice inexcusable. No F–ks don’t sound much better, but peering through the appalling fidelity, I think I can make out a bigger, dirtier sound. All of this is in Spanish by the way, so I have no idea at all what they’re on about. I am typically Englishly ignorant of foreign languages though not so bad as many of my kind in that I’m not actually proud of that ignorance. Fuzzy, ramshackle, Spanish indiepop. Ace.

4

Completing an evening of old-skool indiepop with some old-people indiepop. Tracey and Paul, and possibly the other two, I dunno, are back, and it’s as if they’ve never been away, in as much as they sound exactly the same as they used to. It’s zippy, hooky, late 80s indiepop with tremolo guitar (doesn’t mean what you think it means: look it up). Paul even has a song, like he used to.

If I’d realized how much this was, I wouldn’t have bought it. It was thirteen or fourteen quid or something, which is obscene. A 10” single should be £3.99. £4,99 tops. In fairness, that’s probably the resale value. Shouldn’t be though, because it’s great.

4