Tuesday, August 26, 2008
With the days getting shorter and autumn rapidly approaching, I figure it's time to upload one of my favorite fall records and one of my favorite records in general. I've tried to shy away from uploading readily available records in favor of the slightly obscure, but this is something I think everyone needs to have whether you pay for it or not.
The Clientele are a great Indie-Pop band from London who have been around since the early 90's, but only started receiving notoriety in the states once they were picked up by the always consistent Merge Records. They've released 3 LP's, several split 7"s, singles and EPs and while most of their material is solid, nothing will top the singles collection, Suburban Light. Whenever I start getting sick of summer and psyched for fall, Suburban Light is the first record I think of. Everything about it embodies fall to me - rainy days, cooler weather, sweaters, shorter days. I hear it in Alasdair MacLean's breathy, reverbed vocals and in the soft, dark production that makes each song sound like it was recorded in a dreary London bedroom. I hear it in songs like "Rain" and the off-kilter but upbeat "We Could Walk Together" in which MacLean sings about the fading heat of summer. They write dreamy, laid back music comparable to the lyrics about the simple pleasures of getting high, rainy days, quiet mornings, dusk and sleep. The Clientele have a knack for wearing their influences on their sleeve without borrowing too much from them. In their life-span, The Clientele have rarely strayed from their trademark brand of nostalgic pop, but what really sets these songs apart is the production. I know nothing about recording, but these songs sound exactly how they should - like looking out the window into a cold grey day when you're warm and cozy inside your house listening to your favorite record.
The Clientele - Suburban Light
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Despite having members of the fairly popular band Velocity Girl and a split with The Clientèle, The Saturday People are a band I rarely ever hear about. Much like The Clientele, they play a jangly brand of indie-pop heavily steeped in 60's nostalgia comparable to bands from the Sarah Records roster. All 15 tracks on the Saturday People's debut LP are catchy and rich without relying heavily on a lot of orchestration and extra instrumentation. Frankly, the songs are better without it. I've always felt The Saturday People are a diamond in the rough and had they stuck around a bit longer, I think they might have enjoyed some of the success their contemporaries received.
P.S. Note the nod to "A Hard Days Night" in the beginning of "Upside Down girl."
The Saturday People - S/T
The Saturday People on Myspace