Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Overloaded with Pastels

So you might have heard that twee-pop pioneers the Pastels are doing a new album, the first one credited to them alone in a very long time (there was a joint effort with the Tenniscoats a couple of years ago, very nice, but not a proper Pastels record). The album is quite good. It's called Slow Summits and in addition to the core line-up of Stephen McRobbie and Katrina Mitchell, it includes as guests two-thirds of Teenage Fanclub (Gerard Love, Norman Blake) and original member Annabel "Aggi" Wright.

I've been listening to it and liking it, and as often happens when I like something, I offered to review it for Dusted. Otis said something along the lines of "sure" or "excellent" and then asked me if I'd like the full catalogue for context. Well, you probably know how I react to the words "full catalogue" -- with a mix of anticipation (cos it's great stuff) and dread (cos it'll take forever) -- but I have been listening to Up All Night and a singles collection and an EP and a few Peel outtakes and aside from the fact that it makes it hard to review anything else, it's been wonderful. From my slight acquaintance with the band, I thought it'd be a lot more fragile and dreamy than it is -- and with a lot less muscle and friction. But it's actually pretty rough in spots and hardly ever precious, so I like it a lot. Thanks Otis. Sorry about all those April records I should be writing about. (Slow Summits comes out May 27 on Domino, which is a long, long time from now in internet-music-reviewing terms...I mean some people who will be writing about this record haven't even graduated from Bennington yet.)

So anyway, that was a long ramble. How about some music?

The new one is kind of soft and dreamy, but not in a bad way.

This is my favorite from the old stuff.

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