heard on the wire

Drink cocktails, go to launderettes


I hate bucket lists. I hate the idea of bucket lists. I hate the self-congratulatory smugness of it all. Look at all the things I’m going to do with my life, loser.

A student at the school I teach in wasn’t going on holiday this summer. Nor were they able to go on the school trip to a local theme park. Their parents couldn’t afford it. This is the loveliest, most hardworking student you could imagine, one who’ll likely get a slew of GCSE grade As. Tell them about swimming with dolphins in the Maldives.

Still Valid is the new LP from MJ Hibbett and the Validators, whose politely acerbic pop is always a delight, whether ruminating on the Smiths and Take That or giving us a lesson in indie dancing. Their take on bucket lists deems 20 things to do before you’re 30 to be ”a crock of shit” and suggests a better, more realistic bucket list. Go to launderettes.

MJ Hibbett and the Validators // 20 Things to Do Before You’re 30

I was going to post this next track safe in the knowledge that I’d previously name-checked the female punk-pop three-piece from West London. But to my chagrin and slight regret, I hadn’t. This then, is the Tuts from Hayes, mixing pop and politics to effervescent delight.

The Tuts // Let Go of the Past

From Hayes, Middlesex, to Bellingham, Washington, and an outfit that’s the sole work of Seth Little, until he’s joined on stage by the band’s three “live” members. Little’s output has been large this year, perhaps a little too large, but midst it all is this little gem.

Hello, I’m Sorry // Little Plan

Hello I’m Sorry is one man masquerading as a band; Sally Shapiro is two Swedes masquerading as one woman. This is the final single from the singer whose real name remains a mystery and her producer partner, whose doesn’t. Electro-pop has never sounded sweeter than it has in their hands. If they ever want to change their mind….

Sally Shapiro // If You Ever Want to Change Your Mind

Every year the Indietracks festival releases a cheap-as-chips compilation of bands primed to appear at the train-themed indiepop extravaganza. Every year said compilation introduces me to a band whose marvellous music should have been posted here long before. 2016 is no exception.

Lorna // Like John Candy

I like candy, but I like Psychocandy better.

The Jesus and Mary Chain // Just Like Honey

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