Fickle Finger Playlist #0002 (From Bristol to Brooklyn)

Hello all and thanks for coming to have a listen to Fickle Finger #0002. 

This time around we have a couple of mini themes grabbing the attention of the Fickle Finger with a handful of tracks selected from both the Bristol (UK) jangle-pop scene (predominantly of the 80/90s) and the current Brooklyn (NY) scene.

The other selections are just random tracks that the Fickle Finger has pointed at recently that have left an impression on me.

Enjoy !!!

1.   Black Cillas – For John Osborne  (1987) (Time: 00.00)

Although only releasing a handful of singles in the mid to late 80’s, the Black Cillas were an integral part of the ‘Bull and Gate’ live scene (for more info visit Bull ‘n’ Gate Memories) and their brilliance was underlined in the 2005 Firestation Records compilation.

I recently received a signed copy of the above CD after front man Chris Blunkwell  read our recent review. Which provided me with a wonderful ‘oooh look at me’ moment !

2.   Holy Tunics  –  Cardinal  –  (2018) (Time: 03.01) 

Holy Tunics are the first of our featured bands hailing from Brooklyn (NY) and this track from their recent Butter Dish debut (Meritorio Records) is one of many that are immediate playlist fodder. 

Perhaps a bit more raucous than the shared stylistics of the scene, this band are able to add just that little bit of the fractious to the general prettiness. See the full album review here.

Media sites: Facebook / Twitter

3.   The City and Horses  –   Abigail Adams (2009) (Time: 05.33) 

Perhaps not considered by everyone as part of the current crop of Brooklyn janglers, The City and Horses have definitive moments when they reach for the higher guitar notes, especially in their I Don’t Want To Dream debut (where this track is from and reviewed here) and their latest 2017 album Ruins (check out tracks such as So, New England and Drag for some superb jangle) .

The ‘made for indie’ vocals of front man Marc Cantone are smoother than a politicians patter and have obvious similarities to Phil Sutton’s vocals with Pale Lights (see # 17, below).

Media sites: Facebook / Twitter

4.   Alice Phoebe Lou  –  She (2018) (09.25)

Much of the popular music in my new homeland of South Africa is dominated by heavily tattooed gangster rapper chappies, wearing baseball caps at jaunty angles and questioning your desire to have sex with your mother OR beer bellied Afrikaans folk singers playing the accordion, as they lament upon the death of a faithful horse.

Cape Town (Kommetjies) bo
rn and raised Alice Phoebe Lou is none of these and as such plies her trade in Berlin where her brilliance is beginning to be recognised. This single is best viewed in the superb video below which is filmed in two different gigs at separate churches.

Media sites: Facebook / Twitter

5.   The Proper Ornaments  –  Cremated (Blown Away) (2017) (Time: 13.11)


Possibly the best track from The Proper Ornaments 2017 Foxhole album out of Slumberland Records. Lead vocalist James Hoare has obvious pedigree after performing with other jangling bands including the brilliant Ultimate Painting and Veronica Falls.

Undoubtedly my favourite track from Fickle Finger #0002

Media sites: Facebook / Twitter

6.   Olden Yolk  –  Cut to the Quick (2018) (Time: 16.18) 

If my wife had not seduced me on numerous occasions, coercing me to sire an equally numerous amount of children, I may have been rich enough to be a ‘betting man’. On the basis of the self-titled album that this track is from, all my money would be on Olden Yolk being the next big Brooklyn break through act.

Mixing the inimitable Brooklyn jangle with the kind of ‘cool’ that the Kilgour brothers infused into their bands in The Clean and beyond, this track / album is an absolute banger !

Media sites: Facebook / Twitter

7.   Shopping –  In Other Words (2013) (Time: 20.21)

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and sunglassesThis track nailed my attention upon release of the London based Shopping‘s debut album Consumer Complaints (2013) and has rarely been too far away from some sort of play button activity ever since.

Reminiscent of the sort of incessant yet awkwardly melodic Post-Punk that the likes of A Certain Ratio used to play, this track should appeal to those who like their jangle-pop served with a bit of a ‘Brat’ juxtaposition.

Media sites: Facebook Twitter

8.   Math and Physics Club –  Jimmy Had a Polaroid (2009) (Time: 23.30) 

Ever since their brilliant self titled debut in 2006, Math and Physics club have been helping to shape the twee/indie inflected sound of the Brooklyn Indie/Jangle-pop scene.

This track from the 2009 I shouldn’t Look As Good as I Do album out of long time label Matinee Recordings, gives that inimitable ‘Belle and Sebastian on uppers aesthetic’ that I have relied upon so many times over the years to add a bit of cheer to my life.

Media sites: MySpace

9.   The Haywains –  Kill Karaoke (1991) (Time: 25.54) 

The first of our bands from Bristol (UK) or more specifically for the sort of pedantic people who also usually take an acoustic guitar to a party , Midsomer Norton which is where posh Bristolians who managed to get good jobs go and live.

Bristol or not, they were certainly an integral part of the City’s jangle-pop scene on the early 90’s and this track, if my vague cider addled memories of attending west country gigs serve me right, was an absolute favourite among regular gig-goers.

They reformed in 2013.
Media Sites:  Facebook

10.  Pixey –  Young (2016) (Time: 27.40) 

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing, stripes, child, closeup and outdoorWhen I was thinking of doing these Fickle Finger playlists as podcasts (until the realisation that despite being a man that simply exudes testosterone from every rugged, ‘completely unsullied with any metrosexual health care creams or lotions pore’, my voice once siphoned through a microphone, sounds remarkably like Mickey Mouse on helium) I was looking for introductory song, it was this wonderful single from Liverpool songstress Pixey that I chose.

You will see why when you listen to the gorgeous introduction. Unfortunately she does not appear to have released anything else since this 2016 brilliance.

Media sites: FacebookTwitter

11.  Syndicate of Sound –  Little Girl (1966) (Time: 31.40) 

I actually stumbled across this track quite by accident on YouTube and know very little about this band, except that they are one of those rare 1960s’ Byrdsian bands that presented their jangle-pop without filtering it through a hippie wizards armpit, like much of the psyche inflected stuff of the era did.

This is pure jangle as the musical gods and The Byrds intended it from their only album of the same name…even if the fella 2nd left does like the most irritating Sales Manager the corporate world has ever seen !

12.  Massage –  Lydia (2018) (Time: 34.04) 

Massage are a five piece band that like boots, who are based in Los Angeles and formed around the talents of ex Pains of Being Pure at Heart guitarist Alex Naidus. They play a sort of indie jangle-pop that would actually sit very nicely with the Brooklyn scene considering the scratchy ramshackle nature it conveys.

They have released three singles (just 4 tracks) since their debut in 2016 and all of them are infinitely enjoyable. However Lydia is perhaps the first that deserves to put them firmly on the jangle-pop map and is a worthy flyer single to promote their forthcoming debut album, Oh Boy that is due out in July ’18.

Media sites:  Bandcamp

13.  Frankie Rose –  Night Swim (2012) (Time: 37:22) 

Frankie Rose has been an omnipotent force on the Brooklyn indie/jangle pop scene in the 2010’s, playing for the likes of Dum Dum Girls, Vivian Girls and Crystal Stilts

However it is her solo work both under her own name and under the Frankie Rose and the Outs moniker that has arguably deserved the most critical acclaim with its Brooklyn Jangle meets Dream-pop essence.

It was hard to choose a favourite track from four superb albums, however I eventually opted for this track from her debut 2012 Interstellar album (Slumberland Records)

Media sites: Facebook / Twitter

14.  The Total Rejection –  Party Seven (2018) (Time: 39:49) 

The only Bristol band on Fickle Finger #0002 that are from more modern times.

This track, from their 2018 Wrapping Yourself in Silver Foil Won’t Save You From the Blast is hard to pinpoint stylistically, so I am just going to pinpoint a few vague reference points and you can choose your own: Thousand Yard Stare / Wedding Present / Tijuana Panthers / Mega City Four (in their quieter moments) with added organy type / synthy flourishes.

I am rubbish at this (and beginning to make words up), you choose…either way it is a brilliant track.

Media sites: Facebook 

15.  The Brilliant Corners  –  Rambling Rose (1985) (Time: 44:13) (Bristol)

The Brilliant Corners were possibly the most revered of all the 80/90s indie/jangle pop bands on the Bristol Circuit and were absolutely prolific from both a live and studio perspective, releasing 5 albums and 6 EP’s (mostly on SS20 Records and McQueen Records) between the mid 80’s and 1993.

After having one of my frequent TBC marathons, it is still this track that I cannot get out of my head.

Media Sites:  Facebook

16.  Seeking Madras  –  Taking Pictures (2018) (Time: 47:22) 

I found this band and their debut album Bike Ride that this track is from, on one of my regular trawls through the new arrivals desk at our old friends Bandcamp and immediately became a devotee of their unique re-structured psych and baggy crossover.

According to the nerdy statistics that some sort of media player application can provide, this track would have been top of my personal ‘hit parade’ in each of the last three weeks.

So much to look forward to from this band.

Media Sites:  Instagram

17.  Pale Lights  –  Army Game (2018) (Time: 49:24) (B)

In my opinion the daddy of all the current Brooklyn bands and quite possibly my favourite current band in totality, having released two albums in the last four years of the highest quality. 

The band has notable pedigree with ex-band members of other personal favourites such as Comet Gain, Kicker and Cinema Red and Blue all being represented in the Pale Lights line-up.

This track is from the 2017 The Stars Seemed Brighter album out of the same Kleine Untergrund Schallplatten label currently housing notable acts such as The BV’s, Jetstream Pony and Luxembourg Signal.

Media sites: Facebook / Twitter

18.  Pretty Sad  –  Wish You Knew (2014) (Time: 52:32) 

This beauty of thisl opener from Pretty Sad‘s only release out of Shelflife Records is the sum total of what I really know about the band. 

However not one to let trivialities such as actual ‘knowledge’ prevent me from writing 19 squillion paragraphs of waffle extolling its virtues a review was duly scribed…the review led one lady (hello Grace from the Netherlands) to contact me to say it is ‘pretty sad how your blog says nothing’…I saw what she had done with her cunning play on words in using the name of the band to add emphasis to her critique and guffawed heartily in appreciation of her obvious comedic prowess.

Either way this is a beautiful jangler. 

19.  The Blue Aeroplanes  –  Worry Beads
(1994) (Time: 55:21) 

Like The Brilliant Corners, fellow Bristolians The Blue Aeroplanes were another prolific live and studio band in the 80/90’s, who have actually continued playing right up until present times.

Perhaps not as popular as TBC primarily due to the revolving door policy of their band line-up and often expressed preferences towards the less accessible spoken word vocals, TBA can be relied upon to provide at least a couple majestic janglers on each of their albums.

This is the best track from their 1994 Rough Music album out of the Beggars Banquet label.

Media sites: Facebook / Twitter

20.  The Flatmates  –  You’re Gonna Cry (1987) (Time: 57:37) 

Although only releasing five singles (4 were extended by The Subway Organisation label) The Flatmates are the band that everyone of a certain age will immediately refer to when talking about the Bristol jangle-pop scene in the 80/90’s. 

Again this could well be down to the fact that they were superb live and had a huge following all the way down the M4 corridor to London, where they were hero-worshipped by studenty types like me.

This is the lead track from their 1987 Flatmates EP .

Media sites: Facebook 

I hope you enjoyed the playlist and will join us again for the Fickle Finger #0003 soon!

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