heard on the wire

As dead as diamonds


Regular readers will know that I’m not a great fan of music streaming. While I can certainly see the appeal of being able to listen to all the music in the world, whenever and wherever you like, I baulk at the prospect of paying record labels £10 a month for music that’s ethereal, that I don’t own.

For £10 I can buy a stack of “name your price” records from Bandcamp, knowing that 70% of that money goes directly to the artist. I can choose the format my music comes in — 
anything from tin-can MP3 to uncompressed ALAC — and it arrives unencumbered by restrictions.

Paying for the music I download — and I always pay, even if it’s a token amount — has another benefit; I’m auto-curating, carefully choosing what I download, honing my listening.

Over time I’ve become more and more selective, asking myself whether I really need another dream pop/shoegaze/pysch LP. On the face of it, the debut LP from Towns should have been another that I dismissed with a curt “heard it all before”. Indeed, I have, it’s a record that wears its heritage on its sleeve, if not on its actual sleeve. But those influences, whether real or retrospectively assumed, are many and they combine over the course of 11 tracks to create a very nice noise, one that reviewers can only describe as shimmering. So let it shimmer.

Towns // Too Tired

I first came across Towns on Burning World. Sadly my favourite music blog appears to have gone into retirement, no new post having appeared since November of last year. It’s been a huge influence on my listening and thus on this blog, taking me in directions I’d never been before. Admittedly, somme of those were directions I never want to follow again, but that was all part of the fun.

Miss Mobile Home featured on Burning World in August and their debut recording, Phototaxis, is “dreampop indie shoegaze” that does stand out from the morass. In fact, that terse description doesn’t do justice to the New York duo, who are much greater than the sum of their parts. And they have a fantastic name.

Miss Mobile Home // Diamond Dead

From New York to Bloomington, Indiana, and a record that Burning World posted a year ago, writing that Cozy Catastrophes is the solo recording project of Greg Adams.

Using guitars, bass, Casios, Moog, glockenspiel and drum machines, inspired by twee pop, Swedish pop, self-help books and Bobby Rydell’s sweaters, Adams creates music for teenage record hops, in-town driving and lonely hours.

Sounds good to me.

Cozy Catastrophes // Always Say Never to Always

Our final selection from the BW archives comes from London’s Dressmaker, who draw inevitable comparisons with the Jesus and Mary Chain, Sonic Youth and Joy Division. Well, if you’re going to have influences, they don’t come much better than that.

Dressmaker // Glass

And talking of Joy Division…

Dressmaker // Love Will Tear Us Apart

I bet that wasn’t what you expected. Better than Paul Young though.

Photo: Influence; some rights reserved.

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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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