Friday, December 19, 2008

More Felt

Poem by the River (lala) - their groggy paisley mini-masterpiece produced by OG psychedelic Maya Thompson
The Pictorial Jackson Review (lala) - Lawrence's moody Dylan-y defining statement against the rest of the band as they recorded Train Above the City without him.
The Splendour of Fear (lala) - Hypnotic and brooding, like somewhere between John Fahey and Joy Division at points, cough-syrup pastoral as Galaxie 500 in others. Plus the English spelling splendour somehow projects the concept more fulfillingly than splendor does. "The Stagnant Pool" clocking in at 8+ minutes is practically a thesis on 80's alt-rock moodiness. Maybe only Durutti Column does it better.
Crumbling the Antiseptic Beauty (lala) - Few songs are as lovely to me as "Evergreen Dazed"

Some where on the old livejournal I wrote a really long thing about Felt, but thanks to LJ's unsearchability, I will encapsulated my thoughts thus: Felt is the perfect cult band. Enigmatic singer-songwriter with a flat but engaging voice who goes by his single name Lawrence (or did for some of the time), classically trained guitarist Maurice Deebank who turned Lawrence's little hovels into cathedrals, lots of infighting - one album Train Above the City did not include the singer/founder, presence of heavyweights like Martin Duffy and Liz Frasier and so on. Lawrence sang like Lou Reed but proclaimed a Morrissey-esque "New Puritanism" that mirrored the no drink/drugs/sex policies of straight-edge but with a more flowery air about it. The first single "Index" was recorded on a jambox on then sixteen-year-old Lawrence's bedroom and became an Sounds Magazine Single of the Week. They lived on critical praise alone, and faded into almost complete obscurity, their output sporadically reissued in a number of clumsy collections that miss the point of their divinely crafted little records.

Lee McFadden offers a history of the group at Perfect Sound Forever.

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