Tuesday 14 January 2014

The Lucksmiths - Cartography for Beginners (Matinee Recordings)

It's only when you get right in the middle of this double album that you realise how special The Lucksmiths were, and how much, in a time when indiepop seems to be going through a bit of a downturn, they're missed.

With lovingly-written notes by another avatar of pop majesty, Darren Hanlon, 'Cartography for Beginners' is the story of a band that started out as an almost folk-punk-pop outfit, then morphed, wonderfully, into some kind of pure pop machine, before flickering beautifully before their death with a more relaxed, introspective sound. It's all here.

The Lucksmiths came into my life around 2000 when I started a paper fanzine called Tasty and had just about given up on indiepop altogether. Along with Spearmint and a few others, this band (and that label), opened up a whole new world for me, and I'll be forever grateful.

There are songs here that evoke such strong emotions, such as 'Smokers in Love', 'Untidy Towns', 'Southermost', 'A Downstairs to the Upstairs', 'The Cassingle Revival' and the immense 'Stayaway Stars' which is perhaps one of the most beautiful songs that will ever be written.

They burned bright again near the end with 'Sunlight in a Jar' and 'After the After Party' when most other bands would have slipped into mediocrity. That they kept up such magnificence for 16 years is testament to a quartet who have love in their hearts and pop music in their soul. Like all the best bands, then.

1 comment:

Tim Hall said...

They really were one of the greatest. It's such a shame I got into them after they split up and therefore never got to see them live.