Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Dec, 8th: I was lonely 'til I found the reason; the reason was me

Felt- Stains On A Decade (Cherry Red,2003)

This was another indie-fresher-you-have-to-hear-this purchase, on the same day as the Pastels CD, and again,  one which sounds much better 4 years down the line.  Felt were effectively the project of one man, Lawrence (no surname was ever given on their record sleeves), who released 10 albums and 10 singles in 10 years, then disbanded. Possibly the 1980s' definitive cult indie band, they released on both Cherry Red and Creation, moving back to Cherry Red after Creation were unable to release their final album until 1990, which would have messed up the 10 year masterplan. Stains On A Decade is a compilation of their singles and B-sides from both labels, which handily traces the changing styles of the band on one CD, from baroque pop to acid-jazz inflected pieces via jangly indie. It includes Primitive Painters, featuring Cocteau Twins' Elizabeth Frazer, probably the band's most well-known track, Penelope Tree, Ballad Of The Band and many others.
Stuart Murdoch of Belle & Sebastian is a Felt fan, and it's possible to hear similarities between his and Lawrence's vocal styles- and the 'one man's band' idea which applied initially to both B&S and Felt.
Stains On A Decade is a pretty much essential buy for anyone interested in 80s indie or fey, intricate pop in general.

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