(Make Me a) TRISTE© Mixtape Episode 60: Under The Bridge (part 2)

Under the Bridge (Skep Wax, 2022)

Check here for part one

Under The Bridge is something more than a “compilation album”. It is more a reunion of fourteen bands who used to be on Sarah Records (The Orchids, The Wake, Even As We Speak, Secret Shine, Boyracer, St. Christopher) or whose memebers where in Sarah Records band (Jetstream Pony and The Luxembourg SignalThe Catenary Wires, Tufthunter, Soundwire, Leaf Mosaic, Sepiasound, Useless Users).
Under The Bridge will be released as a CD album, digital download and limited edition vinyl LP. CDs and LPs include a 16-page colour booklet. It will be distributed to stores by Cargo (and in the US, Redeye).

There will be two all-dayer events in 2022, featuring several of the bands on the album, in Bristol (The Thunderbolt) and in London (The Amersham Arms) on 23rd and 24th April respectively.

Their Mixtape:

EVEN AS WE SPEAK

Even As We Speak are from Sydney, Australia, and their line-up is relatively unchanged from their days on Sarah Records.  Their track ‘Begins Goodbye’, like most of the songs on the album, is a brand new recording.

ANITA:

Tropical Fuck Storm – Who’s My Eugene?

The song that introduced me to TFS and probably their most mainstream radio friendly. I love the jerky rhythm, the call and response guitars,  the guitar pedal hi-jinx and Erica Dunn’s vocal. TFS like to operate at peak signal and make their instruments sonic explorers…I love them!

MARY:

Alannah Russack’s Entropy Band – Places You Love

Alannah is a long-time friend and music peer. Originally in the much loved Australian post punk band “the Hummingbirds” (EAWS used to play gigs with them in the 80/90s) Alannah has continued as a solo artist, releasing her beautiful Lesser Mysteries of Love in 2014, and now Places You Love, which is a gorgeous single off her debut LP due for release soon. I just love Alannah’s voice – it’s mesmerising to me and I must admit I am a little envious of the seemingly effortlessness beauty of her sound. Fun Fact – Alannah sings with me on Swimming Song (Feral Pop Frenzy).

THE LUXEMBOURG SIGNAL

The Luxembourg Signal are (mostly) based in California, though Beth Arzy, who was in Aberdeen, now lives in London.

GINNY PITCHFORD:

Gravenhurst – Song Among the Pine

A friend sent me the song ‘Trust,’ and it piqued my interest. I found ‘Islands’  next, and that started me down the rabbit hole. When I came upon this song, it felt like exactly where I wanted to be: It’s dark, it’s quiet, it’s forest music, it’s perfectly existential late night listening. I’ve listened to little else the past couple weeks. It’s a rabbit hole I highly recommend you visit sometime. 

KELLY DAVIS:

Norma Tanega – Walkin’ My Cat Named Dog

She’s probably best known for the theme song for “What We Do in the Shadows,” but this song garnered more attention when it was released in 1966 (it’s also the title of the album it’s featured on). The song is joyful and sweet and showcases Tanega’s underappreciated talent. 

JETSTREAM PONY

 Beth Arzy (Aberdeen) also sings in Jetstream Pony, which also includes Sean Charman (ex-The Wedding Present).

Beth Arzy:

The Treasures of Mexico – Heart Shaped Clock

Both of the tracks I choose for the mixtape are on our label Spinout Nuggets but happen to be a couple of my favorite tracks of the past few years. The Treasures of Mexico have a couple of members of The Dentists in the band, one of my all time faves. I get to sing backing for them (The Treasures of Mexico) like on this track and they’re just so great. Sometimes I have to pinch myself as it’s too good to be true! This track, Heart Shaped Clock sounds like it could have been my favourite song in the 90s along with Freedy Johnston and The Connells and gives me the same lump in my throat that I get when I hear The Connells 74-75. Not sure how an English band manages to feel so West Coast and warm but Mark Matthew’s songs and voice speaks to my heart (shaped clock).

The High Span – Nee Naw


As for The High Span, they’re just fantastic. Another Medway band that tells amazing stories in the form of jaunty tunes. Nee Naw is my favourite at the moment but they have new tunes out soon so may not be for long! 

THE CATENARY WIRES:

Rob Pursey and Amelia Fletcher (from Heavenly) are in The Catenary Wires. Their most recent LP ‘Birling Gap’ is also available on Skep Wax.

The Kinks – Dead End Street

I think we’ve listened to this song (and watched this film) more than any other over the past couple of years.   It’s a great song in its own right, but when the lyrics are combined with the incredible footage, it’s a perfect document of urban poverty in England.  The deprivation is obvious, but the ironic wit of the lyrics and the morbid playfulness of the film also document the black humour that keeps some people from falling into despair.

Mimi And The Miseries – Stop Following Me ‘Round

Our song on Under The Bridge is partly about female singers and musicians being used and abused by male producers who remain invisible, hiding behind their ‘wall of sound’.   The Sixties gave us some incredible pop music by girl groups, but at a price.   This brand new track by Mimi and the Miseries also sounds like a counter-blast to that abuse: a modern girl group, with a great pop song, putting predatory men in their place.

Under The Bridge will be released on March 18th on Skep Wax Records, as a CD album, digital download and limited edition vinyl LP. CDs and LPs include a 16-page colour booklet. It will be distributed to stores by Cargo (and in the US, Redeye).

Several of the UK-based bands are coming together to play live at two special gigs in April.
Bristol – https://www.wegottickets.com/event/534652   
London – https://www.wegottickets.com/event/534653

A series of new interviews with the bands has been conducted by author Jane Duffus. Her book These Things Happen: The Sarah Records Story will be published by Tangent Books in 2023.  The interviews will be posted at www.skepwax.com/ndrthebridge

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