heard on the wire

This false idea of love has an entire language

Grey light

I can’t write music reviews. I’ve tried, but they sound like pile of pretentious twaddle., which is pretty much what all music reviews sound like to me. Maybe I am doing something right after all.

So when a band asks me if I would like to review their latest offering, I smile wryly to myself, thinking they’d probably prefer it if I didn’t. Instead I’ll just make the usual smart-arsed or vaguely informed comment and let you decide for yourselves. You know, like when you listen to the radio.

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C is for…

Cinerama, whose three LPs and collection of singles form, to my mind, the most consistently brilliant collection of recordings since Joy Division, each track worthy of a blog post of its own.

In the space of seven years, the band released three LPs and a dozen or so singles that managed a credible lack of chart success or mainstream critical acclaim, both of which are the kind of wholly admirable endorsements that more bands should seek.

And we’re lucky to have them, since the band happened almost by accident. It was originally a mere side project of David Gedge, singer, guitarist and songwriter for the Wedding Present, and his girlfriend Sally Murrell.

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Abrupt in nature, offish, frazzled


Hibou is largely the work of Seattle-native Peter Michel, who makes music influenced by the city’s Discovery Park, pitch-black, candlelit concrete rooms and cheesecake.

Hibou is also the French for owl, an animal with a particular fondness for ukelele music.

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You best believe I’m in love, L-U-V

Cheap records

The problem with music blogs is that you have to wade through large quantities of mediocrity before you stumble upon a nugget of music that has you reaching for the download button. Regular readers may well be saying, “Tell me about it.”

Like panning for gold, often the trawling seems fruitless, but eventually it pays off, though if I hear another track on Indie Shuffle that “sounds like Two Door Cinema Club” I may be tempted to burn the place down, one door at a time.

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Here’s your room and here’s your records

SLF Nobody's Heroes

While Sweden seems to be able to produce a sparkling, new indie pop band at will, its Nordic neighbours’ kids seem more content to speak an impenetrable language, swan around Copenhagen on bicycles or luxuriate in the oil wealth that enables them to afford ridiculously over-priced beer. And, frankly, who can blame them.

Recent Swedish marvellousness includes recorded by Acid House Kings, Alpaca Sports, Liechtenstein and Sambassadeur, to name but four. For the countries to its east, west and south, there is some catching up to be done.

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From the dreamers and the sweethearts


Writing an intermittent and widely unread blog on the extreme margins of the musical landscape is a labour of love, so it’s always exciting when I find myself being followed by a genuine rock ’n’ roll artist, especially when it’s one I haven’t mentioned.

It’s certainly a pleasant change from those artists too rude eve to acknowledge that I’ve given their record the smithsockseal of approval.

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I’ll give it all to you

Alleyway Love

You may think that this blog is dashed off in the few minutes that I have between lessons and listening—and you’d be right. But occasionally there is a little research beforehand, which naturally amounts to sticking a band’s name into Google or Wikipedia.

This would, of course, be the height of laziness were I writing about the likes of New Order, but utterly necessary when attempting to string together a few words about the Adelines, for example.

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I’ve seen a million things


There are some artists who appear to genetically incapable of making a bad record, whose LPs are bought without so much as a 30-second preview. Laura Cantrell is one of them, a member of an elite club that includes New Order, Nick Cave, the Fall, Ballboy, Belle and Sebastian and Helen Love.

So it’s frustrating that No Way There From Here is Cantrell’s first original material since 2005’s Humming By The Flowered Vine. The wait has been long, but well worth it.

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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.


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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.