Love, that’s what I feel for this band. Not “they were cool”. Not “you should listen to them”. Not even “I hope you like them”.
Within the space of a single album, they managed to carve out a sound that was completely original, completely them; I love their ingenuity, their unerring beauty, the simplicity and unassuming depth, their unworldliness. They sounded and still sound like no-one else. The sparseness of their arrangements, Alison Statton’s gorgeous, lonely, reverbing voice; someone once told me they loved the “symmetry” of Philip Moxham’s basslines, and normally I’d set fire to someone for saying that sort of thing, but in this case, he’s absolutely right. The balance and simplicity of their music is utterly bewitching. It feels somehow natural and calm, but running right through it is a kind of under-the-skin sadness that just won’t leave you alone. One thing that’s made me happy is that with all the re-releases this album has had, they’ve never changed the original cover, which, along with the title, Colossal Youth, has a kind of grandiosity and classical feel, like it’s always been there, waiting for you to discover it, and you just found it growing in the ground.
But don’t get me wrong, this is no Starbucks organic sigh-into-your-coffee feelingsy music to put next to the horrors of Jack Johnson or Nick Drake, who, like old wood, has been reclaimed and turned into something polished and shiny to balance your cup on; in this music’s quiet sadness, there’s an inner core of steel - a revelling defiance in their unpolished but perfectly formed songs. There’s not a second of indulgence here, no solos, no wasted drumbeats, no trilling for decoration. It’s, as I say, just perfect in its simplicity. I can’t put it better than that, sorry. No point screeching on when they didn’t. Go and buy it, or steal it, if you do that instead.
If you decide to go legal, you’ll have to buy it on 2 July, obviously, as it’s not out yet.