heard on the wire

You’re the pretty camouflage

Tommy Simpson

I downloaded some really disappointing LPs in May. Well, if I’m to be perfectly honest, quite disappointing would be a better description, but where’s the hyperbole in that‽

First there was the latest from Wire, Beatle-esquely entitled Wire, then LPs from The Mountain Goats, Best Coast and Joanna Gruesome, all artists who’ve graced these pages. It was deflating, which is probably taking the experience too seriously. But if you can’t invest emotion in music, where can you‽

[That’s too many interrobangs — ed.]

Thus it was something of a relief to discover that six months previously, while I’d been rapt and indeed wrapped by teacher training, Decoration had released their long-awaited fourth long player.

Put Me Back on My Bike was six years in the making, so to speak, and references the apocryphal last words of British cyclist Tommy Simpson. At which point it’s worth mentioning that William Fotheringham’s biography of Simpson — I bet you can guess the title — is well worth reading.

The LP was preceded by a single, featuring this track in all its unremixed beauty.

Decoration // Paul is Dead

I should also mention that, as we’ve already seen, May graced us with the first Cinerama release in a decade, so it really wasn’t all bad, not at all.

Still, fresh excitement was needed and it came, first of all, on a single that, like Decoration’s, bore a 2014 time stamp.

Lost Tapes are the first Barcelona band to feature here. I’d say they are the third from Spain, after the mighty When Nalda Became Punk and the recently mentioned Black Islands, but since they describe themselves as Catalonian they might not forgive me.

Lost Tapes // Rubber Bracelet

New Zealand doesn’t have a great musical legacy (Neil Finn fans may disagree, but they’re wrong). If you’d asked me a few months ago to name a New Zealand artist I liked I’d’ve said The Datsuns, but only on the back of a handful of songs. I couldn’t stretch to an LP. Then I heard the first solo work from Emily Edrosa. Then I heard Auckland’s Fazerdaze. This is the lovely second track from a hugely promising six-track, self-titled debut.

Fazerdaze // Jennifer

We come home for our final selection. In fact it’s just a short trip from here to Durham, home of Martha, who are a band. Though it may well also be the home of one or more women called Martha.

This is the band’s contribution to a split single with LA’s Benny The Jet Rodriguez.

Martha // The Historian

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One Response

  1. John says:

    I’d have to argue with the New Zealand remark. It might not have produced any great guitar-pop, and any it has produced might be very derivative and dull.

    However, much of New Zealand’s interesting music comes from the point where UK and US influences collide with the beautiful musicality of the Pacific Islanders and the Maori community.

    It has produced brilliant electronic dub (Salmonella Dub), Pacific hip-hop (Che Fu, King Kapisi), drum & bass (Concord Dawn, everything on Samurai Recordings), funk & soul (Fat Freddy’s Drop), heavy rock (The Datsuns, Pacifier), interesting pop (Lorde). And that’s just the stuff I know about.

    And as far as guitar pop goes, while I was travelling there, I developed a bit of a soft spot for a band called Goodshirt – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDFUyUwK9mw – so see what you think.

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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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