Catching Up

Running behind, catching up. Always catching up and then falling behind. Up, behind, down, around. Repeat repeat repeat.

So it’s Tuesday. It’s Thursday. It’s Saturday again and never again, again. Drip the honey on your tongue, slip the tunes around your torso. What did we miss? What did we miss? Modernity insists on progress wrapped in nostalgia. Persists within anxiety cloaked in need.

We nearly missed RVG. Out of Melbourne out of Adelaide out of place out of time. A set of raw but ravaging live recordings released in 2017 and a single in 2019 that blinks in the blur of a Liberty Belle cascade on a Wide Open Road. See, it makes me clumsy. Forces me to stop. Start. Start. St-st-st-stutter step stop. Suede sweeps of charity shop jewels. Toys we lost in the floods and cares we found in the flames. The fleeting preening of a genderless Manics berating themselves in mirrors cracked and foxed. Delicious is over-used and this music is why.

We nearly missed S-Bends, who are also Australian and also sound exquisitely out of time and place. A gentler sound but scratchy enough to leave tender bruises. A five year old debut EP that is full of empty desire and the echoes of our dreams of tomorrow. A cover of a Rowland S. Howard number and a string of digital singles in 2019 wrapped up with luxurious extras in a set called ‘Nothing Feels Natural To Me’. Perhaps, perhaps, but this sounds naturally awkward and delicately poised on the edge of a forever that resonates to the sound of Jonathan Richman’s little dinosaur hitting (the) Pavement. The darkness trembles and eases a subtle wayward nervous smile. A song about visiting an I.C.U. at Christmas feels violently personal and churns my stomach. So good to be reminded we are alive. A song about inheriting an ’81 Datsun Pulsar that shivers with regret. A song called ‘Two States’ that hovers betwixt and between. Here nor there. Her not here. Slow-mo dreaming of Peugeots in the Sahara and the sound of Magpies and mogadon rain on the roof.

Here’s to a new decade. Same as the old decade. Running behind, catching up. Catching up and then falling behind. Up, behind, down, around. Repeat repeat repeat.

Stains On A Decade

We borrow our post title from a compilation by Felt, and it feels an apposite one for what follows: A decade of Unpopular mixes.

There were mixes on the blog before 2010 of course, and we are slowly going back to fix download links on those posts. Not entirely certain why, as there are only ever likely to be of handful of people interested at any given point in time, but… it feels like the Right Thing To Do. Also we hate leaving things broken.

And so, to the lengthy list. TEN YEARS!!

MIX TITLEDATEDOWNLOAD LINK
Not Blue MondayJan-10https://app.box.com/s/v743w6obkdq12vn2426k3p0nzx4e93lq
Walking Back To WaterlooFeb-10https://app.box.com/s/i8pgu63t2ijvh30406w38jsdrd3mgwyu
Melancholy MarchMar-10https://app.box.com/s/ak9l0u609kkn7c02lc8dxa73ilhnukio
YesterdayMar-10https://app.box.com/s/5qt8eapjmxfdyr6bn1onipl7u39zwikw
TodayMar-10https://app.box.com/s/w3c0d9hlhntr4psmzjr6isph10tp92m6
TomorrowMar-10https://app.box.com/s/jegcb51ldiuxlzl07uldajv61l0kdkvs
April In ParisApr-10https://app.box.com/s/qwz8igszqnes9fbqw270ccj21d5qeq4p
Daisies For The Eigth Of MayMay-10https://app.box.com/s/pr6j0wlbyzvha288r2035bqu427l0ni8
June EveningsJun-10https://app.box.com/s/5snqox7td35as3i7rpnppxlcvku1bblm
Sunset StudiesJun-10https://app.box.com/s/tik9218teu2b4vnv3qdopizxz9xlzbnh
July, You’re A WomanJul-10https://app.box.com/s/np22c2ihqh9bvjyxusm2h5fmx14u40qf
The Edge of AugustAug-10https://app.box.com/s/mtctpa6nfrw6li5cn1fw4zc4f3umrn10
Sweet SeptemberSep-10https://app.box.com/s/cub9e1aj0qib61u4r0es3vwccxac1ar0
October Is EternalOct-10https://app.box.com/s/2kb8gra4ndkag133s4k6p87omajzspc9
Dance To The Skeleton HandOct-10https://app.box.com/s/mgbdft3db0gjx3z40ag0feyt2ryub1ph
December SlowDec-10https://app.box.com/s/bpzsm4mmzb8jn6letjv7vhxrp5gern8l
Go way. Leave. DisappearDec-10https://app.box.com/s/inauiperckmrmuwwx0xb26i4tfrk4cmj
Those Days, Those NightsJan-11https://app.box.com/s/uopkgpz52ubafqnwpimcas5fvlo157e1
Kiss For FunFeb-11https://app.box.com/s/uopkgpz52ubafqnwpimcas5fvlo157e1
Get High In The AfternoonFeb-11https://app.box.com/s/uopkgpz52ubafqnwpimcas5fvlo157e1
It’s My Heart and I Want You To Break ItMar-11https://app.box.com/s/cjzkzwuuqrtwgwgr2nwnhe80gc5xk9xm
Everyone Feels That Way SometimesMar-11https://app.box.com/s/llgrllux2oogm2ongn9cshcgho7ss1wd
1983 – Convenience Erases LoveApr-11https://app.box.com/s/a9a75ium7ux64ifxmzoxxob67pp8g02j
Flying Into The SunApr-11https://app.box.com/s/57bu291o2vona588y7slyxwo7xep9rfi
Unceremonious SplendourMay-11https://app.box.com/s/eseb5epiqdgvmvl2byjuqvy96dh07pxf
Absence Makes The Heart Grow HarderMay-11https://app.box.com/s/n7eyawrnqe8nd2f6iwtrlpedwotuz58v
Closer To You NowJun-11https://app.box.com/s/v3sl4svo2ano2og4el24mqhb8wavlxa4
So You’re Saying There’s A Chance?Jun-11https://app.box.com/s/98tg5qr8jeeac0a9c63evf2msq9geo83
Summer FeelJul-11https://app.box.com/s/le933jgjud0fkez67d591xb7sa46er40
Summer Heatwave HeatJul-11https://app.box.com/s/p3buf9ysjxmpa090ju04myhszru9s0t6
Summer TimeAug-11https://app.box.com/s/zphy0juxnrm2ltrbmq662ztamq3aea3o
These Are The DaysAug-11https://app.box.com/s/22c8nw8r3hg888auup1g6v1pgxtv0xxn
Crashing The SkySep-11https://app.box.com/s/wufjpqt3p2umyp99tp5h07hbmj3hvpej
Your Love Is Calling My NameSep-11https://app.box.com/s/4ong3crzgoy6j7f109l4s9fchoppf14g
Who Tripped On The C(h)ord?Oct-11https://app.box.com/s/qrr37e7fxjrsmur73lwb0rf3lcej3i9d
It Was Dark And I Welcome The CalmOct-11https://app.box.com/s/oi348hd3x9brogattiy64g9j7z155eer
Say It’s NowNov-11https://app.box.com/s/bs7fee8ca58vd15doihfeoi28oo9lwng
Can we go to a bar?Nov-11https://app.box.com/s/1yq4lq7wmtj59l420r5e0s34rgfz4xqx
More than a myth but less than a fableDec-11https://app.box.com/s/unat71dcgvb1m5iqpfk27voxnr9l6f5f
Who Took The BoozeDec-11https://app.box.com/s/b25rs4rg9m1uh6s70bnzl0qx002b5eb5
What Sound is This (Face A and B)Jan-12https://app.box.com/s/5zwbmk06e7yhp8comkr5phv5h59tnpns
There All The Tine Without YouJan-12https://app.box.com/s/pr76eum3ie0ivjfixsxsw6mhnpnorvu0
The Rolling StonesFeb-12https://app.box.com/s/rie7mu2f1cu4l34lvj3fxmmh059fui3d
We Make BelieveFeb-12https://app.box.com/s/cut5fe54gxfbhgu6gjpsq04js20zg9wn
No One Ever Tells YouMar-12https://app.box.com/s/sx4ckii72ihac3tctk9f3vr5hzszf6cy
In My RoomMar-12https://app.box.com/s/votdwy2d80nmwkh0jqcqph5qm7gbgukz
Sunbeam Blood ShineApr-12https://app.box.com/s/f53ui91o7f3e31z0vg4pctwceih227l3
The SandsApr-12https://app.box.com/s/01ij10t0eztr7s3ntm0wxa7dyq66jdxe
You Against The Rest Of UsMay-12https://app.box.com/s/91v79m7k4s4lzlp1ad5n0dzfmg42mkl8
I See You’ve Got HorsesMay-12https://app.box.com/s/lx6w1swmgdqenak79kuwq0rm86z1ifjr
I Remember YouJun-12https://app.box.com/s/j9jkey2vwlduipukutcpkwehd5lry8i7
Records Are Sacred When You’re 17Jun-12https://app.box.com/s/j9jkey2vwlduipukutcpkwehd5lry8i7
In My ReverieJul-12https://app.box.com/s/wcpgm965knuaranmxedw4enr6twmofcw
S Is For SecretsJul-12https://app.box.com/s/1yo5rparbj9wcuiv9172f3usicu6g63r
Revolution SummerAug-12https://app.box.com/s/4vdudok0fkwnuvai4xkv9dsn4nktt40g
Beach BlanketAug-12https://app.box.com/s/u8qtue9ko6wsb3rf6cpm8xojkz58jhx9
White Lines Are Slicing Up Our SkiesSep-12https://app.box.com/s/whc72tq641tc64ckpa3rjsum1mhx5q7p
A Boy Needs A BikeSep-12https://app.box.com/s/47dn88yqvlloo7kzl6q2puglwa8uhd1c
Crazy LoveOct-12https://app.box.com/s/ddygor2be9c66kaolb2ygexpc5ylzipx
Living In A VillageOct-12https://app.box.com/s/i14o8m4e8hmz9bcry6e9js78ukl6a5e5
Claimed By The SeaNov-12https://app.box.com/s/uyhi36qob2smrholm9thlow23l920u4b
Miss YouNov-12https://app.box.com/s/nhc76auvsa36y3gvvs3eg8czadk7j3wz
Lights and RadiosDec-12https://app.box.com/s/iehaza325fbpqqxti3dpubffw04aj1zh
Merry Christmas to the Drunks, Merry Christmas to the LoversDec-12https://app.box.com/s/ctqxxfwn89czm1nye9w0z0pm6ttrndw8
CorneredJan-13https://app.box.com/s/23lzen2173css1fkt5z6
Once We Were School KidsJan-13https://app.box.com/s/8ffk6vob9utk6lfgqlvo
Shine On MeFeb-13https://app.box.com/s/gpotqbmbncop2p88bzm6
These Songs Will Make You Love MeFeb-13https://app.box.com/s/4g3l8zqhosgwggmwao8v
Home Is Where My Head IsMar-13https://app.box.com/s/076731bcyilhkpu6q0q2
My Old HauntsMar-13https://app.box.com/s/171b567dadudxatke35i
I know We’re SpecialApr-13https://app.box.com/s/fau5cbho52242i4vrvy6
Monument to a Lost CauseApr-13https://app.box.com/s/p88tmn2gvxc868wcsgko
Bright LightsMay-13https://app.box.com/s/vzr7ds21izjcfk6hfltc
MonumentMay-13https://app.box.com/s/jfycdrrsv2z2ezlu7uca
In This PlaceJun-13https://app.box.com/s/ae8bsbaor38lio12yy1z
It’s Not A Summer Without YouJun-13https://app.box.com/s/r9bdvy0x4qoh34aycloo
Something MoreJul-13https://app.box.com/s/8j917b37frf726xovkm8
Left It Out To ShineJul-13https://app.box.com/s/hps8wap9fxo0yu58u3gn
Hay FeverAug-13https://app.box.com/s/sypph6oqtfnm733sa4th
You Held My HeartAug-13https://app.box.com/s/j5aif8psrvfmrq9n3boe
(here’s to)The Ghosts Of The PastSep-13https://app.box.com/s/5dmsf4mo1xzb52jq8nfx
Reunion MessageSep-13https://app.box.com/s/2zjrn822ena43s7gozqa
Is The Sky The Limit?Oct-13https://app.box.com/s/gaz6ppu3j179h736p6on
Nothing But LoveOct-13https://app.box.com/s/aihnb6sbh0bjxc4so051
Tiny Moments, Tiny OmensNov-13https://app.box.com/s/7d13plufn04k3t7kilrm
GazeNov-13https://app.box.com/s/m08ppu16z0q68l7xkynn
Now and ForeverDec-13https://app.box.com/s/p8276v3u6ti0cfbq2rp9
A Very Unpopular ChristmasDec-13https://app.box.com/s/ip35pi64ozbbmi5216id
A Brief MomentDec-13https://app.box.com/s/lc54fki1yt6lj0b0hgz2
Days of Being WildJan-14https://app.box.com/s/hlmhhfpg3s7sloelo042
Like It Used To BeJan-14https://app.box.com/s/3xgl242jijvjrhed1gos
Things I Should Not DoFeb-14https://app.box.com/s/5qm5o7pemtmdylkydqn4
Who Would Want To Be Loved?Feb-14https://app.box.com/s/ejrltc11e6vnc1pv90d9
Competition Diffidence and GloryMar-14https://app.box.com/s/745x7q2sq1yweojlyxvu
Dreams Please TooMar-14https://app.box.com/s/22ypkfsr0moofjlml5fh
Love Gets You TwistedApr-14https://app.box.com/s/vvhse3qd0t2859lgkyxq
Coffee In The MorningApr-14https://app.box.com/s/b95p1cpxxz6v7th9wcl3
Chasing All The Good Days DownMay-14https://app.box.com/s/6um73pld1mpevtpzj0lc
We Cannot Hope To Compete With Such ColoursMay-14https://app.box.com/s/iu6ivcvt246pd32mhq22
Into The SunJun-14https://app.box.com/s/041ger6mjieulroubz9z
MidsommarJun-14https://app.box.com/s/g3rcea8cbuu49z62ud1i
Tinted WindowsJul-14https://app.box.com/s/pjms43m9fe23o1j0g0xu
Another DayJul-14https://app.box.com/s/c5qxa0r93xkdcy6gpd4q
HolidayAug-14https://app.box.com/s/7jvrxo38xviy7w1r9uth
Chardonnay SummerAug-14https://app.box.com/s/dvinqngpeu6nxmtacuj2
Summer’s GoneSep-14https://app.box.com/s/enal8bibx599hq9g2w81
Serious Things Are StupidSep-14https://app.box.com/s/8mg0ctmzgtixlf1ntr6d
19Oct-14https://app.box.com/s/v1jmcsi9iq505k6faehh
Memories of YouOct-14https://app.box.com/s/whtimtbppligqu6tisbt
We’ve Run Out Of RoadNov-14https://app.box.com/s/1er666md7c00nlm4dtsi
Woke Up To A StormNov-14https://app.box.com/s/jv0e3p9wqxookc3mapz1
Shapes and PatternsDec-14https://app.box.com/s/19m1pibntx6sqpdpuzk1
Have A BalloonDec-14https://app.box.com/s/9b4m7e4fzv16mgwawy74
Walk In The AfterlightJan-15https://app.box.com/s/dih9chvpedvyb4fmqfy8
This Morning We Are AstronautsJan-15https://app.box.com/s/rnf45spf9qjc945kgtwmh15uesi3q111
They’re Still Cooler Than YouFeb-15https://app.box.com/s/itnfyuscru2b8eqrp8o2ws0upvckx58u
Through the SkylightFeb-15https://app.box.com/s/8pcbuqnrwv55ruachokjzubvdytnpv02
They Look At UsMar-15https://app.box.com/s/zfde0g9nuby91r390kow8toehvrd00du
Take Away An ImpressionMar-15https://app.box.com/s/y696jpzk56bge11nes6t4duyl7wzm1vi
SparesApr-15https://app.box.com/s/gy7edkbp4gaxmsa4npxwnjk9gmxx6da7
The First Song of SpringApr-15https://app.box.com/s/dqmlif3dzn5hafxxngaux0ld92jvyato
Shadow and ShapeMay-15https://app.box.com/s/434tfwxy8h6cr685l2v220mje5901c1o
There Are TwoMay-15https://app.box.com/s/duw00u40dzl8i3baukpb9cdsy33uxo0s
LandscapesJun-15https://app.box.com/s/l8ogjdkglwwp9s6eqbwwccf66m9aw00x
NeverlandJun-15https://app.box.com/s/8jtgt1y3d4isg8180uuucfu7dwl3ipkp
Impossible LoveJul-15https://app.box.com/s/grog80hw4wlcdr7lj03402c7u28dy97i
ResilienceJul-15https://app.box.com/s/bqppwt35s85tbkbw53xrvmdnx93kub62
Fake BeachAug-15https://app.box.com/s/ii8faphnkyfyq6pboiset2r9up9hckt3
ShadowsAug-15https://app.box.com/s/oendxglmy9f6uyqjh2ocly7r3z42e3wo
September SkiesSep-15https://app.box.com/s/oendxglmy9f6uyqjh2ocly7r3z42e3wo
No MemorySep-15https://app.box.com/s/iw14v4c3zvpu7ercyqlespe3vawzrbg0
Things I HoldOct-15https://app.box.com/s/68q2sd288blcmosfyu3smfnnv1sh0edr
Just DriftingOct-15https://app.box.com/s/wiocbqtnsr5fbnjcw61k57bi1bc7qv58
Abstract ObjectsNov-15https://app.box.com/s/z08wge07wzel3wf5ga32a1h8nmpmb8ey
BreakerNov-15https://app.box.com/s/4khmr9nlvdb3k45ylnl6rtaoo13wub1t
A Shot In The DarkDec-15https://app.box.com/s/m2gxc3p01pfs5oemi7adjzaxa80h7lbk
Depth of FieldDec-15https://app.box.com/s/tl9bq1yoho3h2mmk03rwi8qhirknijyi
Feathers and DreamsJan-16https://app.box.com/s/m7q0ttim3t18jdb8euf2hivh7s43nitt
How To Recognise A Work Of ArtJan-16https://app.box.com/s/sclqud58u7vdimynfxv8rto6qti6v6pn
Play it as it laysFeb-16https://app.box.com/s/ow4y9feydjlc85ykvhw4u304sx1gtwb5
Metal and ShellsFeb-16https://app.box.com/s/iab5oroxru3yhi2tm4pufrgdamc1jup3
My Only FriendMar-16https://app.box.com/s/j9hbipzuhdvqkl0rem3ble8hy30fb9fz
Dial ToneMar-16https://app.box.com/s/c2hkby05obo1g2mug267ofiht1qq6f0p
Just a MemoryApr-16https://app.box.com/s/9evjvpdqdkkojiq4iqj0cy9j5qucrnbd
How It FeelsApr-16https://app.box.com/s/f7j1gqf0wpo66f1qx9q79isq8ysmzty6
Lying in the SunMay-16https://app.box.com/s/4bfsjfj42l4bgiy9c1tl2l7198a9el7d
Fedback On A Concrete WallMay-16https://app.box.com/s/ozk34givm5kwd6nb9h6ol5vd21odvxx6
Yesterday WasJun-16https://app.box.com/s/h4zq3mqg3fiw9najvsk0u6vp90bx2oiu
Black heartsJun-16https://app.box.com/s/iigamn4gtbkharpoz2knf9sebjh5u11d
Unpop 133Jul-16https://app.box.com/s/f6sn68pm2bxiol6kuicfzzfvhihse4m5
Unpop 134Jul-16https://app.box.com/s/fzezs6jpntps0hynlqoph27o318g60dk
Unpop 135Aug-16https://app.box.com/s/z7ac6kiau8emvew71u6bkeqv9lfx5911
Unpop 136Aug-16https://app.box.com/s/npqdfa6ivgl63ez2xtjqoow3yf35s29x
Unpop 137Sep-16https://app.box.com/s/bsju2tpjkkamal1naa7swc27k8zr31hy
Unpop 138Sep-16https://app.box.com/s/3pdsqoidv1ahucw78firmbh9kff3o1o2
Unpop 139Oct-16https://app.box.com/s/s404ywtzthfe82e75ij6mye0kb9fwtxx
Unpop 140Oct-16https://app.box.com/s/pxscpthgaoc1ifwhocaksr6w82yq74gi
Unpop 141Nov-16https://app.box.com/s/hfuf2dn564ugjyqzljmmnfj3kcrtzx71
Unpop 142Nov-16https://app.box.com/s/dno92mmpwerlmnfsm3ql3mbqbc9a9wji
Unpop 143Dec-16https://app.box.com/s/8fwnzqjqlxa4wsfefhqm6mxcolf5vyiu
Unpop 144Dec-16https://app.box.com/s/bqzbhohcdhckn7f0cvx7b93bluagexoa
Unpop 145Jan-17https://app.box.com/s/jvee2kkgzip4l0a493dmaya90vpv0oe8
Unpop 146Feb-17https://app.box.com/s/dcvqyd9e448ou4vkw7ic7f62zctx2h8x
Unpop 147Mar-17https://app.box.com/s/6pbiv5qfnsuq7xx3c1ml5ni3avplel8z
Unpop 148Apr-17https://app.box.com/s/7co9vapixg1sn18jlgp57uxjv2fn2rze
Unpop 149May-17https://app.box.com/s/h4h18ovuxneo0o82ws6j7y8y30znmwnk
Unpop 150Jun-17https://app.box.com/s/sbweo2jrkfgqb5chicbanychmamjfqxy
Unpop 151Jul-17https://app.box.com/s/0jo4lv55hqitfmrnqpb7bhcwn9m2wfk7
Unpop 152Aug-17https://app.box.com/s/8w9ronq2luemmkaqu3gpmjntn2qoi205
Unpop 153Sep-17https://app.box.com/s/iat1iqtznp02823krgab2wyih8p52rsy
Unpop 154Oct-17https://app.box.com/s/c6uhguryqltb3zory2f52t48w2h04spj
Unpop 155Nov-17https://app.box.com/s/ykejjeguti9c8edaflkhww3wlqbgrzpt
Unpop 156Dec-17https://app.box.com/s/iij6duyhey8nz6n51x17pa9ptpbk7s3p
Unpop 157Jan-18https://app.box.com/s/3r16q4rxe3uc47xd4bvjsas2myc0w65l
Unpop 158Feb-18https://app.box.com/s/vwzi4m750mb418wjmwh4mptnlwo3u165
Unpop 159Mar-18https://app.box.com/s/i4pnwu7td4q96h9rite9b3b65on904zr
Unpop 160Apr-18https://app.box.com/s/kxft26cqk0z9ivr006f7o7xy7k09v1gh
Unpop 161May-18https://app.box.com/s/j0ezdesydfpxsnqmviw8qab6cn93r0oa
Unpop 162Jun-18https://app.box.com/s/b6c6qgys0kx95477y54qgcwc5d3jpz0m
Unpop 163Jul-18https://app.box.com/s/g83daiaigbqmzwfs84qt41b8fy8qb1sx
Unpop 164Aug-18https://app.box.com/s/pc2ooaunzuhjpi9kutyqus8m00kmfhus
Unpop 165Sep-18https://app.box.com/s/4vfejy8gj95o9iexrbyro2ceyzoeyg2r
Unpop 166Oct-18https://app.box.com/s/ienvn5vck2fh45kaapoukf7axsm7mz2v
Unpop 167Nov-18https://app.box.com/s/kotuta8ngppttes2x2g5jpl6hem4zvb
https://app.box.com/s/r8ouhya989sq5kztoggdmrjqwhekom0o
Unpop 168Dec-18https://app.box.com/s/49yojuyzvcdgdgld075qw7rrupva6fyd
Unpop 169 – Advent 2018Dec-18https://app.box.com/s/5zt0j2hc4n3jammpua5uhidodp74ik34
https://app.box.com/s/a2f0k0g82wbh933gqmpj2vr8c4d5dvac
Unpop 170Jan-19https://app.box.com/s/suvzpsfb2bqf22fol9alkcnw54e01wi0
Unpop 171Feb-19https://app.box.com/s/fw13ouq2ulnj5pk9tddlqv413okpkzt8
Unpop 172Mar-19https://app.box.com/s/qmewnbe1ylnezh4a6m3840ai8dw3vghh
Unpop 173Apr-19https://app.box.com/s/cmsjxxb23kt8ma1y01ph0r6aq7nwx78g
Unpop 174 – At The EdgeApr-19https://app.box.com/s/42eoaait0obsfg2whkjjjuyj6akb77uf
Unpop 175May-19https://app.box.com/s/kgq39k69opd3i53q0jnlriaqzc5yu8oh
Unpop 176Jun-19https://app.box.com/s/mmijdpc2mch4r725cd2g98512zrjtos3
Unpop 177Jul-19https://app.box.com/s/h5gh8rfqu82vt0kxt6vy8z8ynlxysjjv
Unpop 178Aug-19https://app.box.com/s/t5i13ud0st6kam6hsqhxuuxhfe6xbgc5
Unpop 179Sep-19https://app.box.com/s/swy8z4mz4ezj7husv8psihn8dc54xic4
Unpop 180 Oct-19https://app.box.com/s/q5ty5et1jqf2ul5ury6tf674uz43hmpw
Unpop 181-1 – I Set My Face To The HillsideOct-19https://app.box.com/s/bkid9m69i6r1cyrvkh8aechd4zuzh20h
Unpop 181-2 – Bright Side Of The Hillhttps://app.box.com/s/eguw7z9g6f2ffvwb5wmgawhidgpgzyaf
Unpop 181-3 – We Sat On The Hillhttps://app.box.com/s/yjiehvpqvhlaylnphtieo5cg8o3owalf
Unpop 181-4 – High On A Hillhttps://app.box.com/s/sa6ugui8q5o70g2lh05uuucahdlyzq62
Unpop 181-5 – Up The Hill Backwardshttps://app.box.com/s/404wlxbfmfqj1o7ts53bglifgwxwca7t
Unpop 182Nov-19https://app.box.com/s/du52h8dkhpzbx58js48dtmynmekfvr2x
Unpop 183Dec-19https://app.box.com/s/ygn1nm2ho7dtencx0tmm39911j58410h
Unpop 184 – Unpopular Advent 2019Dec-19https://app.box.com/s/pp92nmbaqrqq1smz03rib1uu8fov9tc4
Unpop 185Jan-20https://app.box.com/s/nqnlb2iieshzwu3nvcbq6ey3cgjc1h5f

Unpop 185

It’s not sad

Nocturne – Landshipping (digital single. Bandcamp)
Crank Resolutions – Meursault (from ‘All Creatures Will Make Merry’ LP. Bandcamp)
New Dawn – Withered Hand (from ‘Ten Years’ EP. Bandcamp)
Catch – Dana Gavanski (from 7″ single. Bandcamp)
Lucid I Would Dream – Miranda Lee Richards (from ‘Existential Dream’ LP. Bandcamp)
Two States – The S-Bends (from ‘Nothing Feels Natural To Me’ LP. Bandcamp)
Her Father’s Son – East Village (from ‘Hotrod Hotel’ LP. Bandcamp)
Heavy Blue – The Hanging Stars (digital single. Bandcamp)
Set Me Up Boys – Teeniest (digital single. Bandcamp)
You and Your Sister – sparkle*jets u.k. (from 7″ single. Bandcamp)
He Will Always Come Back – Chaos Chaos (from ‘Withershins’ LP reissue. YouTube)
Lilac – Porridge Radio (digital single. Bandcamp)
Roles Reversed – The Electric Soft Parade (from ‘Stages’ LP. Bandcamp)
No Rock Save In Roll – Cornershop (digital single YouTube)
Hard Times (feat. John Grant) – Whyte Horses (from ‘Hard Times‘ LP)
The Kids Are Having None of It – Frazey Ford (digital single. YouTube)
Shadows Break – Mega Bog (from ‘Dolphine’ LP. Bandcamp)
Chi Mi Bhuam – Burd Ellen (digital single. Bandcamp)
Thicket – Mark Tranmer (from ‘Further Woodland’ LP. Bandcamp)
Afterwards – Josephine Wiggs (from ‘We Fall’ LP. Bandcamp)

It’s more than that

Partial playlist on Spotify

Full playlist on The Mixcloud

Unpopular Advent 2019

Download the entire mix of songs as a ZIP file here.

Teigngrace – The Diamond Family Archive (from ‘Black Autumn’ LP. Bandcamp)
Sweet Lemeny – Alula Down (from ‘Betwixt and Between 5’ cassette. Bandcamp)
Sweet Lemany – Burd Ellen (from ‘Silver Came’ LP. Bandcamp)
Severing – HARESS (from ‘Haress’ LP. Bandcamp)
God’s Food – trappist afterland (from ‘Insects In Amber’ LP. Bandcamp)
Thistle and Briar – Vic Mars (from ‘Inner Roads and Outer Paths’ LP. Clay Pipe)
The Girl I Left Behind – Alison Cotton (from 10″ EP. Clay Pipe)
Dark Place – Rozi Plain (from ‘What A Boost’ LP. Bandcamp)
Hissing Waves – The Leaf Library (from ‘The World Is A Bell’ LP. Bandcamp)
The Actress In The Background – Lispector (from ‘Small Town Graffiti’ LP. Bandcamp)
Night Sweats – Lloyd Cole (from ‘Guesswork‘ LP
Meander – Elizabeth (from ‘The Wonderful World Of Nature’ LP. Bandcamp)

Winter in the Dark – Jeanines (from ‘Jeanines’ LP. Bandcamp)
A Council Boy – MICK TROUBLE (from “Here’s The Mick Trouble LP’. Bandcamp)
The Godfrey Brothers – Comet Gain (from ‘Fireraisers Forever!’ LP. Bandcamp)
Can I Just Call U – Young Guv (from ‘Guv II’ LP. Bandcamp)
Fighter – GospelbeacH (from ‘Let It Burn’ LP. Bandcamp)
Remain – Robert Forster (from ‘Inferno‘ LP)
An Antidote for Strychnine – The Mountain Goats (from ‘In Leagues With Dragons’ LP. Bandcamp)
Accidental Beauty – Vetchinsky Settings (from ‘Underneath The Stars, Still Waiting’ LP. Bandcamp)
Water Water – Emily Fairlight (from ‘Mother Of Gloom’ LP. Bandcamp)
Chance – Angel Olsen (from ‘All Mirrors’ LP. Bandcamp)
Contact – Big Thief (from ‘U.F.O.F.’ LP)
Forever Chords – Strand of Oaks (from ‘Eraserland‘ LP)
Footsteps – Modern Nature (from ‘How To Live’ LP. Bandcamp)
Hercules – The Claim (from ‘The New Industrial Ballads’ LP. Bandcamp)

Almost accurate/complete playlist on Spotify.

Entire mix streaming on the Mixcloud

Unpopular Advent 2019 – Day 24

The Claim – ‘Hercules’ from ‘The New Industrial Ballads’ LP

Back in March of this year we told you about the welcome reissue of The Claim’s ‘Boomy Tella’ LP. It was so good we told you twice. Thirty years, we mused. Blinks of eyes and all that. We hinted too that there was a new LP by The Claim due for imminent release and that first glimpses suggested it would be a peach. We were not wrong.

Thirty years is a long time between albums. Not even the Stone Roses or My Bloody Valentine took that long. It’s apt then that The Claim wholeheartedly embrace this span of time on ‘The New Industrial Ballads’, both suggestively through sound and explicitly through, well, through a song called ‘Thirty Years’ in which Vic Templar revisits his ‘Mike The Bike’ tale, riffing both on nostalgia and retro-futurist sci-fi. And Elvis. Of course Elvis.

‘Thirty Years’ is a telling element of ‘The New Industrial Ballads’ because it would make little sense to anyone not already entirely familiar with the flip side to The Claim’s ‘Birth Of A Teenager’ 7” for Bob Stanley’s CAFF label. Its inclusion here shows that The Claim are comfortable acknowledging their place in time. They could have been contenders and then they weren’t. Yet like Forster’s figure in ‘Remain’ the Claim are no Terry Malloy characters filled with bitterness and recrimination. Certainly fires still burn fiercely in their collective belly, but we cannot live on anger alone. We find balm where we can. Seek succour in our communities, however small they may be. The Claim, in the end, are comfortable with their audience. Forever Unpopular. Just look at the recent UK Election results.

The songs of The Claim have always felt firmly rooted in a deep sense of social justice and empathy with the disenfranchised, the forgotten, the ignored. In this they have always pulled inspiration from Folk traditions both lyrically and musically. These musical threads are most clearly visible in the two bookends of the set. Album opener ‘Johnny Kidd’s Right Hand Man’ is an instrumental that strums its way into our hearts whilst closing track ‘Under Canvas’ is two minutes of gorgeously delicate guitar picking atop which David Read sings a deceptively simple tale of love, betrayal and, erm, camping. When we tell you it could be a great lost track by Mick Head then you surely know how much we treasure it.

Between these two bookends of restraint however The Claim certainly stretch themselves and coalesce into a group confident in their capabilities. Quite simply, they sound tremendous. On the fabulous ’Just Too Far’ they reference Dave Edmunds’ ‘Queen Of Hearts’ and throw in a line about how “Doves put Pounding on the jukebox just for us”. Both great points of connectivity. On ‘The Haunted Pub’ they recollect The Kinks looking for redemption in the early ‘70s. Cliffe Hillbilly Boys, if you will. ‘Mrs Jones’ meanwhile is a gorgeous slow-motion waltz around a haunted dancehall, a copy of a Shena Mackay collection of short-stories stuffed in its back pocket.

Then there are cheeky suggestions to the summer of ‘Boomy Tella’’. That summer thirty years ago when we left the UK for two months and came back to find everyone wearing flares and the ‘baggy beat’ behind every damned song in the world. ‘Music/Pictures’ could be a Stone Roses b-side from when they wanted to be Velocity Girls (think ‘Mersey Paradise’) whilst ‘Hercules’ certainly cranks into gear on a funky drummer groove as if to say ‘we could have done this thirty years ago and joined the party but instead we chose to leave the love-in’.

‘Hercules’ is certainly the number we come back to most often on ‘The New Industrial Ballads’ for it is perhaps the songs that encapsulates what makes The Claim so special. We are firmly in Ken Loach social commentary territory here, with references to tower blocks, boarded-up shops, ‘Big Society’ and DWP ‘fit for work’ assessments. No surprise then to see the spectre of Loach’s ‘Cathy Come Home’ amongst the “run-down housing”, glaring at us with barely concealed contempt, despairing at how every generation never seems to learn from the errors of those who go before. Damned to repeat the same mistakes. For better or (more likely) for worse.

When Read concludes his depiction of contemporary England (and it is, increasingly, a depressingly isolated England) with the lines “Gather up all sympathies and mould them into Hercules” we are left to contemplate the meaning. Is the suggestion here that our collective empathy for others in our communities has somehow been transmuted into steel to make military aircraft (an inditement of increasingly militarised societies) or that they have been hijacked and coalesced into some mythical figure of Populist Power? Either way, it is not an especially optimistic conclusion.

It is fitting then that The Claim choose to marry this rather gloomy outlook with music that is affirmative and robust. The song grooves around its inner despair, spiralling in and out over the second half of its length in largely instrumental exuberance and collective hope in spite of it all.

Thirty years. Bent to it again but with heads held high.

Unpopular Advent 2019 – Day 23

Modern Nature – ‘Footsteps’ from ‘How To Live’ LP
Text adapted slightly from our piece for Caught By The River back in August.

Perhaps it is our Unpopular age, but we admit we find it ever more difficult these days to keep track of what bands particular musicians might happen to be in in at any given time. Jack Cooper is a case in point, for after his work with Beep Seals, Mazes, the (brilliant) Ultimate Paintings and a gorgeous solo record under his own moniker, he is now back with a new act named after Derek Jarman’s tremendous ‘Modern Nature’ book of journal writings from the years spent creating his Dungeness garden. Now Dungeness is a strange and beautiful place, one of those liminal spaces where juxtapositions of the natural and constructed worlds seem at once bizarre and entirely right and as such it feels entirely fitting that its peculiar landscape permeates the first album made by Cooper’s new group.

The songs on ‘How To Live’ may not form a narrative in the same way that those on Cooper’s 2017 solo set ‘Sandgrown’ do, but they nevertheless fit together in a looping post-modern structure that tell stories connected by notions of movement, isolation, reflection, dislocation and disconnect. In this sense ‘How To Live’ is a filmic record that values more abstract sensations of landscape over details; a record that may not be about any particular place but that is certainly about place and our trajectories around and through it. Refrains almost but not quite repeated; suggestions of musical themes that are real-not-real; connectivity created by field recordings ebbing and flowing in the mix: It’s an illusory, impressionistic and instinctual record. We hear words almost mumbled from the edge of the causeway and the end of the rainbow. Something about clicks repeating and footsteps, something else about Conquistadors. Stand atop the lighthouse and glimpse the textures spreading like a kaleidoscope vision beneath the stars.

In places (particularly on the tremendous ‘Footsteps’) Modern Nature remind us of the cool motorik calm of Appliance punctured deliciously by discordant bursts of saxophone (courtesy of Jeff Tobias from Brooklyn’s jazz/rock Sunwatchers). That driving rhythm of train tracks clacking past beneath us is to the fore again on ‘Nature’ (drums provided by Woods’ Aaron Nevue) this time punctuated by Will Young’s anxious guitar squalls sweeping in from the estuary. Elsewhere we float on a rippling surface of waterways, disturbed by dreams washing in on the evening tide. Here’s Lou Reed jumping a Spiritualized freight out to Coney Island, baby, and there’s a squadron of Talk Talk albums swooping in to hang out with the (Boards of) Canada geese on the lake. Big skies (The Kinks’, Kate Bush’s, maybe even Hurrah!’s) stretch into forever and we lay on the shingle suffused by shivering sunlight grasping at the gentle psychedelic magik of it all.

In ‘How To Live’ Modern Nature have made a strangely supple record into which we can escape from the fetid swamps of reality, its space one that provides a canvas onto which we can project our internal travels through subliminal landscapes, accompanied by treasured suggestions of shared reference and connectivity. And that’s a rare treasure in these times.

Unpopular Advent 2019 – Day 22

Strand of Oaks – ‘Forever Chords’ from ‘Eraserland’ LP

We are somewhat mistrustful of data here in the Unpopular universe. Our listening statistics for the past year for example show Strand Of Oaks as our most listened to artist by some margin, whilst the ‘all-time’ chart has Timothy Showalter just a few plays shy of The Go-Betweens. Now no disrespect to Showalter, but this is surely as clear an example of what Tara Westover describes as “data nearly always underrepresent(ing) reality” as is possible to obtain.

And yet. And yet. There is a reality that says these statistics are true. There is a truth in the point that ‘Eraserland’ is one of our four most played records of 2019. Some kind of honesty in the thought that whilst there is much in Strand Of Oaks that we shouldn’t really dig (the sound is often big; there are too many tattoos; there are beards and long hair) these things are mostly superficial, transitory, essentially meaningless. Our twenty year old selves would be shuddering at the thought and this, as we have often mentioned, is exactly as it ought to be.

So yes, we do love Strand Of Oaks and Timothy Showalter. We love him because he once made a nine-minute song about the pleasure of reading and we love him because he made a seven and half minute song about the power of Jason Molina’s records that takes our breath away and leaves us utterly ravaged every time we hear it.

We love the idea that, as with ‘JM’, ‘Radio Kids’ and ‘Goshen ’97’, Strand Of Oaks’ songs are often about the very processes of making and of listening to music. We love that they make these processes and the evocation of our emotional investments universal in spite of any specific reference points. No, Smashing Pumpkins and AC/DC mean less than nothing to us, but goodness, the underlying threads of connectivity are made along the same neural pathways and to paraphrase Josef K there are so many of these that lead to the heart…

‘Eraserland’ certainly leads to the heart and we could certainly have picked the title track for our Unpopular advent mix because we love how the song seems to suggest a policy of withdrawal from the world. Into one of books and films. Music. Nature, certainly. We love how it critiques it’s own contextual limitations with a line like “… they forgot about songs / Give us 10 Goshen’s and some sing-alongs”. We love how it suggests creation through erasure, like Rauschenberg’s erased de Kooning drawing. Positive from Negative. Affirmation from rejection.

We could have picked album opener and single ‘Weird Ways’ for our Unpopular advent mix because it is certainly one of those ‘Goshen’s’ or sing-alongs and frankly there is nothing too much wrong with that in doses. Yet we also love it for the line that suggests “There are colors (sic) in the places you can’t find” as though the places we inhabit are devoid of it, are instead cloaked in monochrome. This in turn leads us down rabbit holes of photography and hey, can we tell you that when we hear Strand Of Oaks we sometimes see the photographs of Nathan Pearce, in particular his ‘Midwest Dirt’ work. Something in the almost desperate connectedness to a neglected landscape. Something heartfelt and pure, certainly.

We could have picked ‘Ruby’ for our Unpopular advent mix because Showalter has suggested it is the happiest song he has ever written and there is certainly a terrific rock’n’roll swagger in the song that suggests Springsteen dreaming of his Midwestern Cowboy Mythology.

It is, however, album closer ‘Forever Chords’ that we have chosen for our Unpopular advent mix (we strategically ignore the indulgence of ‘Cruel Fisherman’ that fills the final side of the double vinyl set). Another of his lengthier pieces (it clocks in at nine minutes and twenty one seconds), ‘Forever Chords’ manages the difficult task of making something that is expansive also simultaneously intimate. To draw back in our photography parallels again, it is the difference between an Ansel Adams landscape that unveils to us (merely?) the majesty and wonder of vastness and scale (and thus holds us at arms’ length) and a Minor White one that balances this with a humanity that draws us in.

‘Forever Chords’ draws us into Showalter’s world through a delicacy of instrumentation and composition that builds slowly and organically to thrumming waves of pressure and relief. In this there are clear connections back to the start of our advent series and those Spiritualized suggestions thrown out by Lawrence Collier and his Diamond Family Archive. ‘Forever Chords’ certainly inhabits a peculiarly similar landscape in that it stretches, loops, throws spectral shadows and expressionistic forms. It may be altogether more orthodoxly Rock in its crescendo, but we should not hold that against it.

It’s into that electric crescendo that Showalter sings “Chase the moments of bliss / They’ll outshine the bad / If you believe you can be loved / You’ll outlive your past”. Stripped from the context of the song we concede that those lyrics might seem trite. Yet as we know, context is everything, and held within the appropriately blissful threads of sound these lines instead transcend a potentially limiting vacuity and inhabit realms of sublime honesty. They offer us a balm that as disconnected, empty words they may not. The song and the luxurious completeness of its intimate communion is all.

“I hope it never ends” indeed.