heard on the wire

I’m waiting for the winter, hoping for the rain


We’ve had snow on the ground for a fortnight now and but with the freezing weather due to abate this weekend, this may be a last chance to post some seasonal tunes on the theme of brass monkeys.

Snow has already been done, so we’ll stick to the kind of songs that conjure up thoughts of two pairs of socks, firewood and glühwein, starting with a one-man band from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Put away visions of banjos, harmonicas and foot-pedalled bass drums. Brian Hancheck, aka The Arctic Flow, is an altogether more sophisticated blend of dreamy shoegaze and indie pop. This track is from a new EP, which is only available on CD—what is this, 1998?—though it can be streamed from his Bandcamp page.

The Arctic Flow :: Just Say Hello

Audio MP3

I’m a little wary of posting this. Though the title seems apt, if rather pessimistic, the lyric is questionable. But this is a criminally underrated and underplayed band who made three fine LPs in three years as the seventies gave way to the eighties. Ths track appeared on the second of those—1979’s Secondhand Daylight—but this version is taken from the band’s Peel Sessions collection.

Magazine :: Permafrost

Audio MP3

While Magazine were working on their next LP, the Correct Use of Soap, a young scotsman from East Kilbride was embracing the new pop guitar sound coming out of Glasgow at the time, embodied in the early Orange Juice releases on Postcard Records.

A couple of indie hits gave credibility, but in 1983 Roddy Frame’s Aztec Camera enjoyed chart success with Oblivious and five years later Somewhere in My Heart reached the then-giddy heights of number three in the UK hit parade. Both tracks are now staples of daytime radio, but neither comes close to this ode to wrapping up warm and taking a stroll.

Aztec Camera :: Walk out to Winter

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And here’s a record I’ve mentioned before, but well worth repeating.

Popguns :: Waiting for the Winter

Audio MP3

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