Archives for posts with tag: Creation Records

Slowdive 2017.jpgMoments after posting yesterday’s song – “Scenic” by Ozeans – which had a Slowdive connection and dated from the same time as their first album in 1991, Slowdive announced the release of their first new music since 1995.

PopLib doesn’t normally feature well-known artists, or not often anyway. The focus is more on shining a light on the underground and the bands you generally won’t hear about through mainstream music media and blogs. However, given the coincidence with yesterday’s post it made sense to alert followers to “Star Roving”.

Having been a fan of Slowdive during their initial run from 1991 to 1995 I’ve enjoyed seeing the band return a few years ago and finding that, rather than being forgotten, their music had gathered more and more fans during the years they were away. So much so the re-emergent Slowdive were playing to far larger audiences in the past few years than they did in the early 1990s.

Their influence on a recent generation of ‘shoegaze’ bands is evident. Slowdive were always the archetypal band of that genre and era for me – melodic and accessible, and pursuing their own distinctive path despite the changing music tastes around them. Their music sounds as fresh and other-wordly today as it did 25 years ago.

If you haven’t already seen this recent documentary on Slowdive it is recommnded viewing.


Sorry for the long break since the last post. Other things on my mind. Mostly good things. But in the past week some shit things too. But you can always rely on a perfect song to help rebuild you when you are down. ‘Spiral Staircase’ by Birdie was that perfect song:

Not sure if it references the Pavement guitarist. Maybe it’s just about a spiral staircase. Stranger things have had songs written about them, even if architecture doesn’t often come to mind.

The song is one side of a split 7″ picture disc single released by London club/ label The Hangover Lounge. As well as being a “A Sunday club (2-9pm) to hear the perfect music to calm your minds after a hard Saturday night’s drinking and stave off the dread of the week ahead” in London it is also a label. The Hangover Lounge periodically releases 10″ EPs compiling artists who have played at the Hangover Lounge, usually exclusive or acoustic performances.

They say of this Birdie song: “Birdie are Paul Kelly and Debsey Wykes, guitarist and backing vocalist with Saint Etienne. In 1996 Alan McGee paid for them to record a demo. McGee was too busy claiming 18 Wheeler and Heavy Stereo were the next big thing to listen properly to Spiral Staircase. What an addition Birdie would have been to Creation then! Spiral Staircase is a miniature masterpiece of Left Banke psychedelia and Laura Nyro pop.”

The song might be almost 20 years old now, but it is as timeless – and out of time – now as it would have been in 1996.

The other side of the single is something new – and of course wonderful – from The Clientele.

These are all sold out, so a streaming listen here is your only option for the time being. I have a copy – much treasured and much played already – thanks to Ben who is one of the people involved in the Hangover Lounge and has a music blog you should follow, called Did Not Chart. He wrote this about Birdie.

Sam Perry Zen Mantra

Day 28 of the 31 days of May New Zealand Music Month via Bandcamp challenge comes from a Christchurch bedroom, soon to find it’s way to the world.

The debut album ‘How Many Padmes Hum?’ by Zen Mantra (Christchurch teen guitar pop wunderkid Sam Perry) came out on CD last year on Auckland’s Muzai Records. It was one of my favourite albums of 2012 and no surprise to see it being picked up by UK label Stroll On Records for vinyl release shortly.

‘Fossils’ is the pre-release single and it sums up the appeal of the album for me.

As I noted in my 2012 album round up:
“Very melodic and jangling pop which is also a bit sonically messed up… These songs are great – instantly memorable, well-crafted, noisy pop fun. Those with a love of classic psychedelic pop, ‘shoe-gaze’ pop or guitar pop from any era should give it a listen.”