is a UK trio that has carved out its own distinctive sound that taps into a dark shimmering psychedelia. The songs have an odd timeless quality that yearn for absent cinematic visuals. Swooping, atmospheric vocals, stream of consciousness vignettes encased in 60s garage hooks. But the real hook is Steehouder’s voice. It’s where the Grace Slick, Patti Smith and PJ Harvey comparisons come into play.
A: Instrumentals on film soundtracks. I found the «Suspiria» soundtrack by Goblin on vinyl the other day (it’s a 1977 Dario Argento horror flic). Goblin are cool. Derek Jarman film scores, like «Jubilee» and «The Last Of England», these are both great. I’m still looking for Miles Davis’ «Bitches Brew» on 12” gatefold – the artwork is amazing.
J: People who were around in the 60’s were always telling me about a song called «Jesamine» (my name’s Jessamine) by a band called The Casuals and I was desperate to find it when I was a teenager to hear what it sounded like. I found it in the end on 7”. It was a little disappointing.
A: Songs on compilations tapes. To say which ones would illuminate things which are best kept hidden.
A: I was named after Astrud Gilberto, so I’m sure the record was played a lot. I remember my mum playing Billie Holiday when she was doing the housework. I hated it, but I was four. I don’t think a four year old appreciates Billie Holiday. I probably wanted to listen to «Six White Boomers».
J: I remember dancing around to it in my living room when I was very small. Also an LP of children’s songs called «The Corner Grocery Store» which included a version of «Goodnight Irene» by Leadbelly. I danced around to that one too. I’ve loved that song ever since.
A: Apparently Snow Patrol alongside «Angels» by Robbie Williams are popular favourites for weddings, funerals and pub karaoke. Now that’s the sign of a versatile artist. There’s a song called «Halloween» that Tim Curry sings in the film «The Worst Witch» that is just amazing. It has the worst visual effects and lyrics ever and it’s brilliant. I’d have the video projected above the altar.
A: I recorded «Death To The Pixies» with a few Violent Femmes songs on a tape that I took to France when Jess and I did work experience in a school, but we forgot to bring any other tapes so we listened to it and literally nothing else for two weeks. But it also soundtracked the rest of our summer, sitting on the train with one headphone each on the way back from clubs. When we were about fifteen we were into loads of bands from Glasgow – the whole Chemikal Underground set. But I’ll go for «Kewpies Like Watermelon» by Urusei Yatsura. When I was thirteen I listened to «I Should Coco» by Supergrass on repeat for thirteen months. Still one of my favourite albums ever.
J: I’m going to have to go with Astrud on this one. Pixies and Violent Femmes. But also «Under Canvas Under Wraps» by The Delgados and «My Heart Beats Faster Than Techno» by Milky Wimpshake remind me of another summer a couple of years earlier when I first started to go and see bands. That was such a long, hot exciting summer. Those songs are very evocative of that time now.
A: Any song that you can spell out with your body has got to be seen as totally brilliant.
J: I challenge anyone to beat the urge to headbang a la Wayne’s World when the instrumental kicks in.
A: I went through a phase of buying loads of 7”s when I was about ten. I remember buying a record that I was obsessed by called «It’s a Fine Day» by Opus III. It’s a rave pop track with euphoric elements. I still really like it.
J: I used to know this but I’ve forgotten. Tiffany’s «I Think We’re Alone Now» and Paula Abdul’s «Opposites Attract» were among the first though!
A: My phone is a brick. I’m not that advanced with technology. It would probably be something by Delia Derbyshire. Apparently Eliane Radigue, another 60’s oscillatress, made this electronic music that takes about 10 minutes before you realize it’s on. That would be quite a good ringtone.