I pressed the Bandcamp follow button for this North East (UK) three-piece many years ago, after hearing their 2015 single and delightfully named, However Much I Love You, I Love Lloyd Honeyghan More (see below), chop and bounce with a jangly indie-pop assault that was as much the 1980’s as Morrissey’s hearing aid.
Thankfully, nothing much has changed since then, apart from my need to distance myself from the implied Morrissey comparison. For this is proper late 80’s jangly indie-pop that is immediately reminiscent of those incessantly cool bands that your middle age mates stare blankly at you for, when you name check them in a bid for ancient indie credibility.
This lot appear to have cracked the essence of that fragile 80’s jangly fragility that so many current bands have tried to imitate but ultimately get assigned to the ‘not quite lads’ pile, before becoming an indie rock band, just because it is ultimately easier to pull off.
Initially, the main reference point to these aging ears is heard in superlative tracks such as However Much I Love You, Impossible, A Week of Wednesdays (see below), Two Hits, Three Misses, Heaven’s Door and Let’s Pretend, is the tantalizing brittle, fey-pop allure of ‘not quite made it 80’s bands’ like The Cudgels, The Apple Moths and The Nivens…you know the sort of bands that have actually become popular round about now thanks to 80’s musical archaeologists like the Cloudberry and Firestation labels.
However, The Artisans are not all about that sort of interminable 80’s velvet. Tracks such as Impossible, Yield to the Night, No Suspicious Circumstances, When The Clock Strikes Seven and The Bread or Armley Jail still devote their lives to the 80’s, but this time they imbue denser atmospherics and the sort of bulky bass lines that jangly/post punk crossover bands like Brilliant Corners, Close Lobsters and The June Brides excelled at.
It’s so good to see a new band get this sort of stuff right…so very right.