The word "legend" is bandied about too easily indiepop circles. No-one who bounces around this micro-scene is a legend or is going to be one, unless Sean Price suddenly develops immortal powers and takes over the universe.
However, amongst those coming close to legendary status is Amanda Aldervall, once of lost heroes Free Loan Investments. Those in possession of the 'Ever Been to Mexico' ep that the band put out will probably tell you that there are days when no other record will do.
Fast forward a decade or so, and Aldervall has released 'As I Write 'Today' Ten Times' under her new monicker of The Andersen Tapes. You all need to know that it's a great big gentle rush of brilliance.
Here you'll find that the Free Loan Investments sound isn't completely dead (see 'Cross Country'), it just got mixed up with the beautiful Pipas-like harmonies of 'All You Need to Know'.
At times this album can seem almost glossy, but you'd be fool to think so, 'cos at its heart is a beautiful mixture of all that's wonderful in indiepop today. You can hear Liechtenstein in there, parts of Crayon Fields, the odd nod towards Pocketbooks, and then you think "Oh! Maybe those bands took their inspiration from Aldervall". Only then you realise how important it is to have her back.
Where other acts strive and strive to achieve pop greatness, Aldervall seems to have it at her fingertips at all times. Maybe I'm as guilty of hyperbole as those who throw the "legend" status around all over the shop, but these songs are so effortlessly cool and loveable and full of the best pop spirit you could ever wish for.
By the time you get to the tear-y 'You're So Lonely When You're Old' you're itching to press the repeat button and experience the joy all over again.
No doubt, 2011 is going to be a painful year for the majority of people. If everyone worried about their job, home, how they're going to pay their bills or feed their kids could listen to 'As I Write 'Today' Ten Times' just once, it might not change their material situation, but I'd wager it'd make them feel just one degree more strong. And we need more of that.
Download 'Visual Expectations' here. And then buy the album from Fraction Discs here.