heard on the wire

I’m not used up, not yet


A couple of posts ago I mentioned that over the past 12 months I’ve struggled to find music that has truly astonished me. But then, looking back, that’s been the case for a few years now. Maybe I’m just getting weary; hopefully it’s merely a lull.

Nonetheless, I’d be mistaken if I thought that the past 12 months have largely been forgettable. There has still been much to love, whether soaring post-rock from Motherwell, revived, perky 90s pop from Brighton, or vegan-fuelled indie from just down the road in County Durham.

But it’s from further afield that this track comes from. Phoenix, Arizona, has quite a musical heritage that boasts Alice Cooper, Glen Campbell, Steve Nicks and Zola Jesus.

And Diners. In 2014 they released their second LP, Always Room, a sun and surf-drenched swathe of guitar pop. It’s available on Spotify and Apple Music, but wouldn’t you rather give your money directly to the people who brought you this and get to keep it forever?

Diners // Citrus

Tourist is the first solo LP from Jeen O’Brien, a Canadian who’s previously focussed on songwriting for a miscellany of other artists.

This record suggests that those talents would better have been kept to herslef, as it exhibits the Canadian’s wealth of eclectic writing, beautifully delivered, not least on the opening track, Buena Vista.

In a batting line-up, the best batsman traditionally bats at number four. On this LP the best track is number four. Other than that, I don’t think there any other cricketing connections, which, given the awfulness of that Duckworth Lewis Method outfit, is a good thing.

Jeen // Tourist

Pet Friends released their third EP in 2014, thereby retaining their title as for the best band from Hertfordshire. While never scaling the heights of their frankly brilliant debut I Don’t Want Pet Friends, it only increases our longing for a long playing offering. Soon, please.

Pet Friends // Come to your Senses

Regular readers may remember that the French Defence’s Sketches of the September Leaf won the inaugural and final 2014 Socks award for Best British LP.

Last year the Leeds-based balladeer put out three LPs of out-takes, demos and “assorted detritus”. This track comes from the first, Ten Years of of Bad Ideas — Volume One (can you guess what the other two were called?).

The French Defence // Melt

Photo: Blumenthal; some rights reserved.

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