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Let's end this on a classic, shall we?
They're from Indiana and have a bit of a late 1980s Homestead Records feel to them, though with a bit more melody. This one's dead catchy, anyway.
Now if only they'd come up with a better name...
This is actually the least twee song on this 1993 EP. And ironically I also think it's the best.
This is one of Robert's songs, a gorgeous and very Sarah-esque track.
Pete Seeger did the original, btw.
From her second (2008) EP, Welcome to the Afternoon.
On the other hand, they weren't a great band, either. They didn't really have time to be, appearing and disappearing all in the one year (1985), and their extremely limited output really did no more than hint at what they could have been. Pleasant jangly guitar pop, sounded great, but the tunes were kind of average. At least the ones they had time to release before splitting up, like this, the b-side to their second and last single.
I think they were from London, but I could be entirely wrong on that.
It originally appeared as "Like It Was" on their 2010 debut album Tendrils, but was re-recorded, re-titled (sort of) and re-released for last year's Deluded EP. Which is a wonderful release, if you don't mind the atrocious cover art (seriously, this is what-were-you-thinking??? territory).
Oh, and they're from Tooting.
Their second single, from 1979.
It's one of those songs that you might need to listen to for a while before it starts growing on you. But it will.
I hadn't actually heard it for a good couple decades when I put it on again recently and I definitely think it had a lot more going for it than most of us gave it credit for. Some quite decent album tracks, like this one.
It's from 1987's Going to England LP, which was their eighth or something.
They've reformed in the past few years (hasn't everyone?) and just released a new album. I haven't heard it yet but it's been pretty well-reviewed.
It's from the second 6ths album Hyacinths and Thistles, from 2000.
Watching this video now in retrospect, a few things strike me:
1. Who on earth cleared this video for release? It's appalling.
2. They had the most uncharismatic lead singer I've ever seen.
3. Their "fashion" sense. Oh my.
4. Still, it really was quite a catchy - and clever - little tune.
It appeared on their debut album, Spiders, which you can safely skip.
One fucking great song.
This is a haunting little track from that album.
It's from their 2011 album Why Don't You Whisper?, their first under their new name.
This is a track from their second album, 1994's Somersault.
This is a track from their second album, 2008's Life is Sweet.
It's a 2010 single, on Elefant Records.
This is a hypnotic track from their 1994 debut album, I Could Live in Hope.
Anyway, whatever about the rest of their music, this is a gorgeous track in its own right.
This track, from their 2008 debut album Alight of Night, always reminds me of the Mary Chain's "Kill Surf City".
It's from a 1989 Peel Session and the song was later released as a b-side to the single "I Really Do Love Penelope", which I think it just marginally outshines. A compilation called Long Ball into Nowhere was released a few years ago and, really, you must get it.
Anyway, this is a track from a 2010 EP called Young Silence.
Sounds so innocent today, doesn't it?
It's from their 2011 Life Sux EP.
Not an official video. It's kind of cool, though.
I'm not sure how many people know this was a Katrina and the Waves cover. It's not terribly different from the original, though the harmonies are nicer.
I can see why the full album might not appeal to someone attracted by "Birds Fly"'s catchy chorus and general buoyancy. The rest of it is considerably more somber - autumnal to "Birds Fly"'s spring - and there's a literary thread running through it which might have been too much of an intellectual challenge for your average TOTP viewer (not my brother, I hasten to add, who of course is a genius albeit one with questionable musical taste). I wonder sometimes if the band don't regret releasing that as a single in the first place, as it set up expectations that the album wasn't designed to fill. They would have sold a lot fewer records, true, but I think the album would have been judged on its own considerable merits rather than as "Birds Fly"-plus-filler, which is so, so unfair.
As you might have worked out by now, I adore a lot of the tracks on this album but this one has always been the standout for me. It's just...exquisite.
Here's one that I'm sure won't have got as much airplay in the past 48 hours as "Daydream Believer" and a couple others would have, but it's always been one of my favourite Monkees tunes. A very fast-paced piece of psychedelic bubble-gum pop, with Moog...classic.
From their fourth album, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. from 1967.
It's from their 2000 debut (and only?) album, Station, on Marsh Marigold.
Always loved the instrumental interlude that starts at around one and a half minutes in.
On the Zero Hour label.
If you're here solely for the indiepop, and don't like anything harsh, discordant or screechy, this isn't the one for you.
A song that ticks all my boxes.
I have the same sort of girlcrush on Annie Hardy that I had on Katie Jane Garside 20 years ago.
As a 21-year-old indiepop grrrl, I also remember simultaneously laughing ironically at the lyrics, and secretly identifying with them. Though I'd never have admitted the latter.
This one, their biggest hit, was in super heavy rotation on Dublin radio back in 2009 but somehow I never got tired of it. It's a great catchy tune, slightly offbeat, with some really clever wordplay - what's not to like?
From their fourth album, Fantasies.
This was the third single from their self-titled debut album, from 1982. It's quite a cheery video for such a cynical song, but then Terry Hall always did do irony well.
It's from their second album, Express, from 1986, which I actually rather like.