Mar 18, 2014
I ought to pay more attention. I downloaded the debut LP from Minor Alps in November and while the joys of its rich mix of pop, americana and electro have been evident from the start, I’ve only just discovered that the record has some provenance.
Currently residing in a box in a Surrey storage unit are a couple of Juliana Hatfield LPs from the mid-90s. And 20 years later it is the same Hatfield whose beautiful voice graces the Minor Alps record.
It’s the product of a collaboration with Matthew Caws and it’s proved to be one of the more enduring records of last year, one whose sonic embrace grows warmer with each listening.
Minor Alps :: I Don’t Know What To Do With My Hands
James Levy is a New York-based songwriter, producer and lead singer for Reputante, whose debut EP, Oceanside, was released in November. However it didn’t include this rather marvellous track with its lovely eighties-sounding vocal, tinkling keyboards and sweeping electro-strings.
Reputante :: Lock Me Up
Describing itself as the Velvets meeting the Monkees in a massive tunnel, Bubblegum Lemonade formed in Glasgow as a vehicle for the talents of Lawrence “Laz” McCluskey, he of Strawberry Whiplash fame. The name comes from title of a Mama Cass album, the sound straight out of the eighties via McCluskey’s 12-string Rickenbacker guitar.
Bubblegum Lemonade :: This is the new Normal
And this is the new sound of Edinburgh, from a fantastic radio session by a band whose debut LP cannot come too soon.
TeenCanteen :: How We Met (Cherry Pie)
Bubblegum, Lemonade and… Something for Mama was the second solo LP by Mama Cass Elliot. Recorded in 1969, it originally comprised 11 tracks; this single was later added to a re-released and 12-track version with a rather more prosaic title taken from the name of the song. While the song may not be up to much, this clip is worth watching for the clothes alone.
Mama Cass :: Make Your Own Kind of Music
While Mama Cass’s career took a downward trajectory after the demise of the Mamas and the Papas, Juliana Hatfield’s latest may be the best thing she’s ever done. Certainly those mid-90s recordings haven’t really stood the test of time.
Juliana Hatfield Three :: My Sister
Photo: Sun on the water; some rights reserved.