pottery and glass

the sunny street ~ pottery and glass

right now i'm away from home and that's the reason why i'm not updating that often... but today i received a message on my myspace profile with the answers for an interview i made with remi from the sunny street. i don't wanna sound egotistic, but this interview was made due to the release of their video form the song pottery and glass, and the video was made by me...

Q: besides the sunny street what else do you guys do? do you have "real jobs"?
A: unfortunately... “real” jobs. delphine and i are working in shops. a vintage clothes shop for delphine and a french wine shop for me. how very original!

Q: how did you got together? there was music before the sunny street? or is this the first music project you're part of...
A: we fell in love first of all, then we started to play together in our other band electrophönvintage (that exists since 1999) before we started tss, three years ago.
we’re thinking about playing with other people for the gigs, but it’ll remain a very intimistic project, a bit secret, our thing.

Q: about the album 'they hurt you everyday': it is , in my opinion, extremely synethesic and succesfull when it comes to create a wide range of images, feelings and atmospheres, going from dark "places" to dreamy ones... what could you say about the creation of the album? how long it took to be recorded... how/where it was recorded... and what did you had in mind while creating it...
A: thank you! we tried our best to keep a coherence in this album but at the same time it was a very busy and disturbing period for us when we recorded it.
we were in a rush, packing things, saying goodbye, preparing the departure to england. it was so inspiring: the moments of despair, melancholy and the bursts of excitement to go and live in the city we always dreamed about.
thye has been written and recorded in less than two months on our computer. it was quite amazing not to think too much, just record everything we had on our mind, like a diary.

Q: influences in music? movies? tv? comic books? history personalities?
A: in music; new order, the cure, sarah records of course... a lot of new wave and just a touch of dance music especially in our new songs.
we watch a lot movies, a lot of tv series as well. recently, brideshead revisited (the tv series) that takes place between the two world wars. beautiful and quite inspiring.

we’re very moved by autobiographic comic books like 'it's a good life', 'if you don't weaken or clyde’s fans by seth for example, this ability to concentrate all the feelings, the substance of everyday life in a line, in a short sentence, in a single gesture. that’s something we’d love to be able to express in a song. we keep trying.

samuel insull indirectly inspired the title of our last single on cloudberry, there’s a former hospital on our bus route named insull memorial. a old building, gothic, threatening and fascinating. samuel insull had to do with electricity, a sort of thomas edison. :))

it sounds a bit arty but architecture, london in particular, is a great great inspiration as well, we love our city so much, in all its beauty and all its sometimes toughness. a tough beauty. :)

Q: new songs coming soon? what are the plans for 2009?
A: we finally found time and money to buy some equipment to record new songs in a more comfortable way.
the big plan would be to release our second album or a single or both if we’re lucky! we chose a catchier orientation this time. nice bass lines. a bit of distortion as well.
it’s almost finish already, the inspiration came back at last! :))

Q: name three songs you'd like to make a cover and why.
A: we’d love to continue covering some eurodance from our youth, like corona’s 'the summer is magic', which is a lovely song.
all her other songs are crap, but we’d quite like to try and cover 'just dance' by lady gaga.
lastly, either 'sighting the sound' or 'never said goodbye' by the bats that i’m completely obsessed with.

Q: if you could give a place and time to hear your songs, what would they be?
A: the only thing i know for sure is that they don’t work too well with the underground at rush hour.
probably walking in a quiet street... or in a club where no one knows each other so they don't have passionated and loud discussions. ;)
someone told me yesterday that he listened to the songs before to go to bed. we call these type of songs “berceuses” in france, it’s a nice idea!

Q: finally, recommend something you've been listening lately...
A: we don’t listen to a lot of new bands in general, we watch the tv and sometimes there’s something we like... but if we had to recommend something that would be artists’ rifles by piano magic, it has been released in 2000 on rocket girl and it’s a fantastic album from start to finish, so coherent, so cold, so sad, so ethereal.
this band became less and less interesting in my opinion but on this album everything sounds right, pure, humble and glorious at the same time.

Q: oh, and i was almost forgetting... say a few words about the song 'pottery and glass'.
A: 'pottery and glass' is probably one of our favourite song of the sunny street, we’re still so moved anytime we listen to it. it is exactly what we wanted to express at the moment we recorded it and ever since we listen to it, it feels so special to us.
if you add this fantastic video you shot for it... a special song for us!


there's no doubt (you'd get killed)

friday bridge ~ there's no doubt (you'd get killed) (but is it art?, 2009)

today i bring to you the first video of the second album by swedish lush synthpop duo friday bridge. this is a special post because the video was released today and was made by me!
i feel pretty honored because i really like friday bridge and to create something for them was great! niklas and ylva are as sweet as their music and for what i've heard of the album it'll be as addictive as their previous release intricacy.
the second full lenght will be released on the 11th day of march ad it's called bite my tongue.
the first single 'shanghai shipping' is available to download at the label's page and at the artist page as well (the links are below).
so here's the video... hope you like!
"now look down and breath in..."


you can make it if you boogie

james kirk ~ you can make it if you boogie (marina records, 2003)

you may know orange juice: a classic band from uk formed by edwin collins and james kirk in 1976 that lasted until 1984 and was a strong musical reference to bands from the smiths to belle and sebastian. and you may know edwin collins' solo career, that started right after the band split up. as for james kirk, he vanished from the music scene after releasing one single in a band called memphis. almost 20 years later he came back with you can make it if you boogie, reminding that collins wasn't the only one with license to make sparkling guitar pop.
an album full of those jangly guitar hooks that made orange juice a legend. the warmth and funky driven melodies are also there, everything wrapped up by james' unique voice.
the album is almost like a travelogue and starts with the incredibly catchy 'get on board'. a 4 minute gem that mentions tommy sheridan, leader of the scottish socialist party. in 'houston, texas' we hear mr. kirk singing about a trailer park in the usa and there's even some rapping (and it's priceless). 'nilsson' is inspired by fred neils' 'everybody's talking', a hit for nilsson in 1969. 'felicity' is an amazing, laid-back version of one of the most loved tracks from orange juice with a new bridge which features the lines that give the name to the album. by the way, it's the first time kirk got to sing it since the orange juice's version is sang by edwin.
kirk shows that whatever went on in the long, short intervening years, he hasn't lost his sense of humor, sunny disposition, hipster bent, soft spot for soul and understated ability to write a great guitar pop song. hope to hear about new releases from him before 2023...

(the album features some of the best scottish musicians... campbell owens from aztec camera, norman blake from teenage fanclub and mick slaven, also producer of the album).

01. get on board
02. nilsson
03. rehab
04. cardboard castles
05. any old iron (part I)
06. outre
07. krach auf wiedersehen
08. houston, texas
09. liggin' round again
10. fruitier than you
11. felicity
12. old soak
13. western pier

buy it

r is for razorcuts

razorcuts ~ r is for razorcuts (matinée records, 2002)

one of the finest indiepop bands from the class of 86. born in london, in 1985, the band is among those acts that define the indiepop/indierock genre with its jangly 60's rock and melodic pop with diy punk ethics.
they started in the punk scene at alan mcgee's living room club and by that time were compared to primal scream and the shop assistants. after a few singles, they signed to (again mcgee) creation records.
they split up in 1989 and were part of the scene that inspired sarah records.
gregory webster and tim vass (the duo in the center of the group) reunited in 1992 under the name forever people and released a single for sarah.
r is for razorcuts is a collection of 21 tracks selected by the band. the razorcuts elements are all here: chiming 12 string guitar, hammond, tambourines...

"during their five years together, razorcuts embodied everything beautiful about indiepop: jingle-jangle guitars, vocals whose passionate engagement forgave any technical shortcomings, and a romantically passive worldview that any cautiously optimistic young person could understand..." michael white, rough trade indiepop 1.

(gregory webster is now the front man of sportique, a band with mark flunder from the television personalities and amelia fletcher from heavenly.)
here you can read an interview with gregory made in september, 2003 by todd e. jones.

01. i'll still be there
02. big pink cake
03. summer in your heart
04. mary day
05. sorry to embarass you
06. a is for alphabet
07. 8 times around the world
08. i heard you the first time
09. jade
10. a contract with god
11. brighter now
12. storyteller
13. everyday eyes
14. try
15. across the meadow
16. i won't let you down
17. the world keeps turning
18. the last picture show
19. sad kaleidoscope
20. the horror of party beach (1985 demo)
21. i'll still be there (single version)

nothing can go wrong

ultrasport ~ nothing can go wrong (2005, quince records)

"finnish geek rock to the masses!"
four multi instrumentalists boys from finland making poppy songs with (faster than usual) jangly guitars, charming keyboards, flutes and brushed drums. after releasing 3 ep's they've released this full lenght with some new songs, re-recordings and remixed tunes taken from the ep's.
at moments ultrasport sound like karkkiautomaatti (another great finnish band and part of the seminal indie scene from the 90's in that country), the fairways and the lucksmiths. i would also say that at moments you can hear echoes from country fellow band cats on fire.
uplifting/upbeat and energetic music with simple lyrics and interesting themes.
on their website, they have a list of things they like and i think that some fits very well with their music:
- sunshine outside
- summer holidays
- friends
- riding a bike slightly drunk

after this album, they've released another one called 'false start city' in 2007 and after that, sadly, split up. here's their last entry on the news section of their page from november, 2007:
"thanks, take care!"
thanks for all the years, it's all over now baby blue. Hope to see you some time somewhere, take care!"

01. nothing can go wrong
02. fire on the streets
03. kissing summers
04. behind the playground
05. you are evil
06. it's hard to look dignified when people sit on you
07. the boy that never lied
08. ballgames
09. sharing secrets
10. much of your heart


the fallen aristocracy

northern portrait ~ the fallen aristocracy (matinée records, 2008)

since 2007, copenhagen based northern portrait has been making guitar based pop that takes us back to the best moments of 80's music ( the smiths and c86 to be more specific).
music that you hear for the first time and say 'oh. my. fucking. god.!' because it's beautiful, with melancholic guitars and lyrics extremelly well written with a touch of morrissey's witty angst mixed with fury and melancholy ('i’ll slit the throat of anyone who wants to put me down' one of the best lines in 'crazy').
in fact 'crazy' probably is the best song of this debut ep and shows what northern portrait is about wether musically or in terms of lyrics. jangle pop with beautiful guitar hooks and the lyrics asking 'i'm going crazy, what is this thing that's happening to me?'.
northern portrait is so great because, in a world where music deals (more and more) with shallow subjects, it seems that there's a genuine search inside the human nature and its feelings (specially the dark ones). and angst, sadness, doubt, rage rarely sounded so honest and pretty.
as matt schild said: "the fallen aristocracy might just be the bittersweet, jangly guitar-pop album smiths fans have been looking for since 1987".

a few months after the release of this ep a new (astonishing) ep called 'napoleon sweetheart' was released on matinée records and right now they're working on their first lp called 'criminal art lovers'.

01. crazy
02. a quiet noght in copenhagen
03. waiting for a chance
04. the fallen aristocracy

buy it


tillmanns ~ run ep (fraction discs, 2006)

i've already posted the first full lenght of tillmanns, the duo from sweden making icy new wavish songs with metallic guitar riffs and hooks.
this ep is their debut and it was the first release from label/mail order fraction discs.
here you'll find 4 uplifting lo-fi tracks, including a version of 'twist', one of the best songs of the album. this version contains some noises that seems to be a racing car accelerating, creating a new layer that brings - at first - a weird feeling, but then you realise that those sounds actually make you feel the song in your chest and helpless, all you can do is dance.
'background' is also featured in the album, but here the pace goes slower and the mood is a bit darker.
there's also 'run' and 'my london love', two songs with swirling guitars, drum machines and layers of keyboards.
you can hear echoes of the field mice, my bloody valentine, stockholm monsters and new order.
the addictive guitars, emotional keyboards and wistful lyrics that populate a careless lifestyle can already be found here.
(run ep was named single of the year by norman records).

01. run
02. my london love
03. twist (spaced out)
04. background

buy it

the foots

the foots ~ the foots (the lost and lonesome recording co, 1998)

unpretentious pop songs created by three girls in the underground scene of melbourne. they started making music in 1996 and as far as i know are no longer together... in fact, little is known about them.
guitar, bass and drums were enough for them to play around with melody and harmony and create classic warm pop songs. sometimes a keyboard is used to give an even more poppy feeling.
this album was the first release of the lost and lonesome recording co. and contains dreamy, sparse and introspective tunes that probably will make you think about another all-girl band from down under: dead famous people. the keyboard on the beginning of the first song is very similar with the beginning of dead famous people classic 'little flashes of yesterday'. but the foots use slightly harder and unpolished arrangements.
funny fact: they were known in melbourne scene for holding dance contests playing songs that were very hard to dance to.
great on saturday sunny afternoons outside.

01. it's about time
02. fickle
03. saturday
04. december
05. another world
06. happened again
07. all smiles
08. the new you
09. only just
10. liar
11. angelo
12. darling

buy it

mary queen of scots

mary queen of scots ~ mary queen of scots (1991-1994, waaaaaah/bring on bull/bliss aquamarine)

this is a special post. soon you'll find out why.
mary queen is a (terribly) underrated band from birmingham that made music between 1991 and 1994. with sounds reminiscent of early sarah records - specially brighter - they crafted some of the prettiest, melodic (and sad) tunes of that time talking about love... well, lost of love to be more precise.
i said 'they' but most of the songs are chris. yes, chris... that's all i managed to find about him.
and this release is actually everything they ever recorded:
tracks 2 to 11 were originally released as a tape in 1993;
tracks 12 to 14 were part of a split with peru under waaaaaah/bring on bull also in 1993;
track 15 was part of a compilation/tribute to 'sound of music' on bring on bull. this particular song ('climb e'vry mountain') was also feature in a series of compilation, most notably gerard mucci's c92 and bliss/aquamarine.
from 16 to 24 are recordings never released... in chris' words: "From then on apathy set in; demo songs were recorded but nothing else released. Here then, for better or for worse, are MP3s of the songs recorded during those turbulent years; very much a product of its time but nevertheless they may have some emotional relevance, one hopes, even today."

beautiful music comprising a guitar with cristaline hooks, sometimes a shy keyboard as a wall of sound and chris gentle voice. enough elements to create a wide range of melancholic shades.

01. prelude
02. ascension day
03. wonderland
04. home and away
05. it's not forever
06. sunday all alone
07. one day
08. another day
09. around the sun
10. please don't cry
11. happy ever after
12. another sunny day
13. evensong
14. dreaming
15. climb ev'ry mountain
16. think of me
17. kimberley
18. on my own
19. the only one
20. tea and simpathy
21. i never wanted this
22. lose myself in sleep
23. tomorrow never comes
24. here comes the end


the sound of arrows ~ m.a.g.i.c. (labrador records, 2009)

a few day ago i posted the first release of stefan and oskar. at the time i also posted a video/preview of the new single that gives the name to the album 'm.a.g.i.c.'
well, fortunaly the m.a.g.i.c was just released (last wednesday, 28)!
a six track technicolor pop extravaganza! the album contains 2 new songs: the a-ma-zing 'm.a.g.i.c.' with its child chorus and a 'the neverending story' mood and 'smalltown lullaby', a dreamy song that finishes the album.
the middle of the album is populated by 4 remixes, just like their first release, danger!.
and just like in danger!, ice cream shout remix is a must listening with its acoustic, organic and grand orchestra instruments.
happy music to dance while dreaming or dream while dancing... it's up to you.

(their first full lenght was going to be released in april and would be called 'puzzles and wonders' but its release was postponed to august or september...)

01. m.a.g.i.c.
02. m.a.g.i.c. (cof cof remix)
03. m.a.g.i.c. (let's get invisible remix)
04. m.a.g.i.c. (curtis vodka remix)
05. m.a.g.i.c. (ice cream shout remix)
06. smalltown lullaby

buy it