This new series, such as it is, is partly to force me into a bit of action in that my i-tunes library is a bit of a mess having not been tidied up for years. It means there are duplicates taking up space while even worse, there’s songs that have been originally loaded and later, thanks to them being modified in some shape or form (often for this blog), are no longer where they should be. It’ll take a while to sort it out and I’m going to do it on a letter-by-letter basis.
In doing so, I’m going to places that I won’t have been for a long time and re-discovering some long-lost tracks, many of which I think are worthy of sharing with you. The idea however, will only be to draw attention to singers/bands not featured here before (in as much they’re not listed in the big index on the right hand side). It’ll be an alphabetical run-through and most likely be an occasional feature as I don’t know as and when I’ll ne in tidy-up mode. But I have finished off the first letter of the alphabet….
An example here of a band I only discovered via the internet, back in the days when I had time to scour round into all sorts of nooks and crannies in the days before I developed a fetish for blogging. If you like your pop to have an indie-bent to it – and by that I mean the sort of fragile almost twee variety, then Airport Girl will tick your boxes. They burst onto the scene back in the very late 90s, releasing a handful of singles/EPs and one album on various indie labels of note, but particularly Fortuna Pop, before disappearing for a while and coming back in 2007 with an album called Slow Light, which is where I picked up on them. The featured track however, dates back to 2000 and is a b-side. It’s the greatest example of Bellshill-pop (BMX Bandits etc) to not come from that particular location.
I’m astonished that I’ve never included Alexi Murdoch here before – he was certainly on the old blog a fair few times.
Born in London in 1973 to a Greek father and Scottish-French mother, he lived in Greece until he was ten, when his family moved back to Britain, settling in Scotland. In 1992, he moved to America to study and it was on the west coast, in and around Los Angeles, that he began to build a reputation as a singer-songwriter of some note. He hasn’t been the most prolific of artists – one EP and two albums between 2002-2011, but it has all been of the very highest quality, The track above is from the 2006 album Time Without Consequence, but a version was originally on the 2002 EP Four Songs.
Some low-fo electronic-pop courtesy of a Brooklyn-based female trio who, for a time on the mid-noughties, were top of the hipster’s lists of bands to latch onto. I’ve one album and one single from Au Revoir Simone in the collection – I didn’t quite get what all the fuss was about, but the featured track, from the 2007 LP The Bird Of Music is pleasant enough
After enjoying success with Depeche Mode and Yazoo, the synth-pop genius that is Vince Clarke decided he wanted to collaborate with singers on a one-ff basis under the moniker of The Assembly. First up was Feargal Sharkey, formerly of The Undertones, and the electro-ballad was a smash in the UK hitting #4 in late 1983 and showing a side to Sharkey that few imagined possible. There was no follow-up single from The Assembly, and after a one-off effort with Paul Quinn flopped, Clarke turned back to being part of a band, forming the hugely popular Erasure.
One of my worst habits is downloading covers of songs that I have in the collection but failing to pay much attention to who is doing the cover or where it’s from. This is an incredibly good and unexpected cover of the New Order song in that it’s stripped right down and turned into a near acoustic ballad with a lovely female vocal. Totally different from the original. Turns out The Arrogants were an American band who were around for a while at the turn of the century and this was recorded for an album of re-interpreted songs from the soundtrack to Pretty In Pink.
Hopefully today’s selections offer up something for everyone.