Tuesday, November 29, 2016
The Perfect English Weather - Isobar Blues
Specifically, we have The Popguns' mainstays, and husband and wife, Simon and Wendy Pickles recording as The Perfect English Weather. Their opening statement is Isobar Blues, which has just been released by Matinee Recordings. The album contains all of the melody and hooks one expects from Simon and Wendy, with what seems to my ears a bit more intimacy, with the dreamy elements more subtly expressed and the arrangements slightly dialed back and streamlined. The songs are mostly uptempo guitar pop, but a few ballads nestle in the mix like those wonderful little packages one always enjoys finding under the Christmas Tree in late December. And over the years, Wendy's voice remains one of the treasures of pop music.
Every pop fan who hears this album will choose favorites -- mine include "The Sweetest Feeling", "Hit Town (A.T.H.E.N.S.)", "Spirited Away", "Christmas Single (Call Me)", and "You Wrote". But circling back to our opening theme, the magic here is in the connection. The Pickles' songs of scenes from their lives, in cafes, record stores, connecting with old friends, a missed concert in Athens, and so on, connect with me to a rare degree. It isn't that they are stories of my life, but listening to them I feel included in their lives, and it is a comfortable and special feeling.
Make room for Isobar Blues, it is one of the year's indie pop gems.
Matinee Recordings page for album