heard on the wire

H is for handball, which has to be intentional


I first became aware of Nat Johnson and the Figureheads last year, mistakenly including a track from the Sheffield-based quintet’s 2010 release, What the Heart Pours Into, among the candidates for my top tune of 2011.

Spared the embarrassment of selecting it ahead of the eventual winner, I can safely include the band’s most recent offering among my favourite records of this year.

Johnson describes I’m Across, I’m Ashore as a concept album, but don’t let that put you off. It’s a fine record and this a very fine track. And it has a pie bird on the cover.

Nat Johnson and the Figureheads :: Is My Heart Needed For It?

Audio MP3

Like Johnson Cleveland, Ohio’s Cloud Nothings refused to stick to a tried—or is that tired?—and tested formula when recording their latest LP. Consequently Attack on Memory is “a record that crackles with ‘let’s get this on tape now’ immediacy”, according to Pitchfork, which then ruins the image by comparing this wondrous nine-minutes to the Foo Fighters. It’s so much better than that.

Cloud Nothings :: Wasted Days

Audio MP3

From Ohio to Nottingham and Red Shoe Diaries, five friends who “write pop songs for messed-up grown-ups” and are definitely not a 1990’s erotic drama series; as far as I know.

Red Shoe Diaries :: Saturday Love Rocket

Audio MP3

Some good bird noises there, which is as good a reason as any, if one were needed, to recall this classic Nigel Blackwell lyric from 2002.

Half Man Half Biscuit:: The Referee’s Alphabet

Audio MP3

Tagged: , , ,

Comments are closed.



heard on the wire is a blog about music old and new, but mostly new. It occasionally uses 21st century file formats that may not be supported by 20th century web browsers. For best results use Safari or Chrome. And If you like the music posted here, please think of the effort and expense that has gone into making it and consider buying a copy of your own.


Hear it on the wire, by receiving email notifications of new posts.


All the music on this site is posted to encourage listeners to enjoy it and then rush out and buy as many songs by the artist as they possibly can. Any artist, record label boss, publisher or other rightsholder who doesn't want their works featured here only needs to get in touch and the offending file(s) will be removed at the earliest opportunity.