The other night, I was half interested in the latest adventures of the Green Arrow, hoping Jurgens’ Booster Gold pops in for a quick photo shoot with the bad guy in cuffs, when suddenly a familiar ice cool guitar line slides in and out. It sounds like Edward Scissorhands and the scream queens having a discothèque in a freezing moonlit graveyard where monsters slow dance in the dark and spray-paint Zane Lowe’s gravestone. It was Cherry Glazerr’s lo-fi pop masterpiece “Trick or Treat Dancefloor”. At first I thought one of the ghosts in my room was listening to Dai Disco’s Halloween mixtape of the same name. But on closer inspection the sound was coming from the TV, like when Au Revoir Simone come on when you’re scouting through the sale rack in tk maxx for a bargain, but multiplied by 2 million, there must be a cat lurking behind the scenes of Arrow! If you haven’t got your hands on Cherry Glazerr’s ‘Papa Cremp’ yet, head over to their bandcamp and give them what you can for it. It’s a lo-fi-Pop behemoth waiting to make your record collection redundant for a good while.
On the subject of lo-fi-pop beasts and D. Disco’s mixtapes (this song has appeared 30090 times), The Notes’ “Those Days, Those Nights” came on shuffle, slowly stalking then firing through the speakers like Ray Lewis used to fire through the offensive line as a running back tried to sneak out of the backfield with the ball. The song always led to unsuccessful investigations about their whereabouts, but this time I got lucky. Whilst browsing through Alistair Fitchett’s all-knowing Unpopular Blog, tucked in writings of the end of the road for the brilliant Bleeding Gold Records (who brought us Tyrannosaurus Dead, The Notes, Songs For Walter, Just Handshakes and many more cherished pop records) was the answer. Unsurprisingly, The Notes, or some of them at least, grew into the gloriously fuzzy Flowers that ripped it up at this year’s Indietracks. Their fuzzed up 3 track EP, part of Odd Box Records 100 club sold out long ago, but you can still listen through the bandcamp.
Whilst hanging out over at the Unpopular lair I stumbled upon The Courtneys’ epic “90210”. The relentless buzzing guitar lines and almost riot grrrl vocals had me on the line faster than 3 week old cheese gets the rainbow trout on. My hand reached for the wallet in record breaking time. The whole album rages like the 3 songs available to listen to on bandcamp.
Other records dominating my speakers’ pre-Christmas mixtape include Major Leagues’ delightful “Silver Tides”, which shimmers with the bittersweet Pop magic of teenage years; Josephine Foster’s wonderfully haunting “I’m a Dreamer” – a magical pop relic that transports you to a time that didn’t exist yet convinces you that you’ve been there before; and Laura Cantrell’s beautiful ‘No Way There From Here’ set: country music with a lo-fi indiepop heart where words burn and scar as songs unfold with the effortless beauty of an old wind up carrousel.
Get them on your Christmas wish list next to the Tony Hirst book of Puns, skinny leathers, denims, and gimpsuits. And keep your eyes peeled for the next issue of Fishin’ Rod Reel Handle. The mixtape will more than likely feature tracks from all these.