Sunday, June 17, 2012
In the past few months two British acts, who know a thing or two about club music, have issued releases that look back on lives spent immersed in music. Both Whitey and Saint Etienne reflect back at what was lost (our minds, according to Whitey) and gained (song ghosts, say St Etienne).
Whitey has battled to get material released since becoming the toast of the post-electroclash underground in 2003 and last month decided to release his music himself online. The Lost Summer album is Whitey's first 'proper' album in eight years (two albums were aborted but mutated versions eventually became available). It's no wonder his is the more bitter retrovision. On 'Saturday Night Ate Our Lives' Whitey sings about those long ago weekends spent in euphoric states: "Lost in a dream and the world seems far behind me..." But he adds, "something has to change now."
Singer Sarah Cracknell takes a less cynical stance on Words And Music By Saint Etienne. Her band's album is almost a conceptual take on the life cycle of a music fan - from childhood obsessions (Cracknell namechecks Marc Bolan in 'Over The Border') through clubbing ('DJ') and, finally, to adulthood's need for tunes of a lost youth ('Haunted Jukebox'). There's also praise of synthesisers, KLF and 'Jack Your Body'. First single 'Tonight' (released earlier in 2012) celebrates the joy of seeing your favourite band play a gig ("Maybe they'll open with an album track, or a top five hit - no turning back"). The album also features contributions from past UK pop heroes of the band, including Tina Charles, KLF cohort Nick Coler and mash-up pioneer Richard X. But it's not all about the past, as they have 2 Bears remix 'Tonight' into the future.