Archives for posts with tag: Heavenly

PopLib featured The Catenary Wires‘ “Mirrorball” from a 7″ single recently. Here’s another new song, this time from their forthcoming album “Birling Gap” due in June. The Catenary Wires feature Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey, once of Heavenly and Talulah Gosh. They are still crafting melodic pop songs with complex messages, as “The Overview Effect” shows:

They explain: “The overview effect is the feeling astronauts describe when they see the Earth from a huge distance.” With that effect comes the realisation how small and fragile the planet is.

The song is quietly gorgeous, Amelia Fletcher’s vocals floating on top of an repeating acoustic guitar melody and, behind that a gentle smudge of shoegaze ambience from the infinite space reverb wash of fuzzy electric guitar.  

They describe it as one of the album’s “anxious love songs, set in a fragile world.”  The fast-eroding white chalk cliffs at Birling Gap near Eastbourne on the southern coast of Britain, which give the album its name, represent impermanence, erosion and environmental change, reflected in the song’s anxious refrain “can’t things stay the same?

Birling Gap is released in the UK on Skep Wax Records on Friday 18th June 2021. It is available for pre-order via good record stores and The Catenary Wires Bandcamp. It is also available in the US on Shelflife Records. If you are in NZ/ Australia and keen to get the LP, postage from the UK is much more reasonable than from the US.

UK band The Catenary Wires are back with a new single (out 16 April), a new video, and even a (virtual) 80s disco, all ahead of the release of their third album in May. The new single is “Mirrorbal” , a duet between “two lonely single people” on “a night out in an 80s disco. Surrounded by divorcees and middle-aged drunks, will they be too shy to talk, or will they find some love action? Is this going to be heaven or hell?”

The Catenary Wires were started in 2014 as a duo of Rob Pursey and Amelia Fletcher (ex Talulah Gosh, Heavenly, Marine Research, Tender Trap). Since then they have expanded to a full band, with Fay Hallam (ex-Makin’ Time, keyboard), Ian Button (ex-Death In Vegas, drums) and Andy Lewis (ex-Paul Weller Band, bass).The Catenary Wires music is a natural progression of the fuzzy sixties-inspired girl-group pop of Pursey & Fletcher’s earlier bands, their music reflecting on the life experiences of young people growing up and dealing with early adulthood. The Catenary Wires songs are more melancholy – a combination of joy and regret, innocence and experience, layers built up as life progresses.

The Catenary Wire’s “Mirrorball” is about 1980s disco. They recall the 1980s disco as the music of a decade that was “pure, unsubtle, tasteless and synthetic.” And yet, who hasn’t been moved by The Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me” or Fiction Factory’s “(Feels Like) Heaven” to name only a few of the synthetic hits of the 1980s? It was music that was, in retrospect, heavenly, reckon The Catenary Wires. Well, some of it at least.

Speaking of disco music and mirrorballs, I have an unforgettable memory of the esteemed Robert Scott (The Bats, The Clean) dancing to George McRae’s 1974 disco staple “Rock Your Baby” beneath the mirrorball at Chick’s Hotel in Port Chalmers following a Tiny Vipers performance there in 2009. That was a moment that perhaps softened my own sceptical attitudes towards the power of the Disco mirrorball and of the kind of chart-topping dance music I had previously dismissed.

While we are off on a Robert Scott tangent there is a link of sorts between Robert Scott and Amelia Fletcher of The Catenary Wires. Both were vocalists on the 1995 album Wasps’ Nest by The 6ths, an album written and recorded by Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields, but with different vocalists invited to sing lead vocal on each song.

To celebrate the release of The Catenary Wires’ “Mirrorball” single in these COVID-constrained times, there’s a real (virtual) 80s disco organised by UK indie club How Does It Feel. The Catenary Wires (and a lot of guest DJs) have been invited to take over for the night on March 27th (UK time). That’s 11 am Sunday here in NZ if you fancy a Sunday brunch disco… and why not? The event details are here.

“Mirrorball” is the first single from upcoming album “Birling Gap”. Both the “Mirrorball” 7″ single and the album will be released on their own label Skep Wax in the UK and on Shelflife is the US.

Finally, in case you were wondering (I was), the band’s name refers to the chain of curves made by the overhead cables seen suspended from pylons or above electric trains: “cables that can seem to lead you off to somewhere different and unknown.”


Don’t know how many bands in the history of forever have been called Flowers but I’ll bet there’s been a few. Possibly not quite as many as the number of bands playing indie-pop strictly following the C86 Purity Laws* of unadorned guitar, bass, drums and vocals.

But this Flowers and this song “Pull My Arm” pretty much grab you by the scruff of your neck and demand your undivided attention.

“Pull My Arm” features a clarion call of a lead vocal so effective at cutting through and grabbing attention Flowers could warn shipping away from a dangerous reef in dense fog.

Rachel Kennedy is the owner of that wonderful voice. Her bandmates are Sam Ayres (Guitar) and Jordan Hockley (Drums).

The minimalism and strum’n’churn of the guitars does invoke the likes of The Wedding Present or Heavenly perhaps. But on the quieter tracks it’s actually NZ’s The Bats who come to mind in the guitar and even some of the melodies. These are all fine touchstones for any band happy to fly the ‘indie-pop’ flag – as Flowers clearly are.

But it’s rare to find a voice as assertively confident whilst still retaining the unaffected purity of tone required classic for indie-pop. Adding to the fun and the fury, the guitar here also packs a bit more of a power when the buzz-saw fuzz/ distortion is engaged, transforming it into something altogether heavier at times.

There’s plenty of variety and texture from the relatively limited ingredients making up Flowers’ sound. Indie-pop this may be, but on steroids and capable of heavy lifting when it matters.

Flowers have a new album “Everybody’s Dying to meet You” out this month on Fortuna POP! in the UK and Kanine Records in the US.

If you wish to go on an archival dig you’ll find an early EP and some demos on Flowers’ Bandcamp page.

[* I made up ‘The C86 Purity Laws’… they don’t exist. It was just a throwaway hook-line for effect to get your attention. Relax.]