EP Review ~ Missing: A Tribute to Terry Hall (Fadeawayradiate) (2023)
When this popped up in my Bandcamp recommendations, I thought: a) superb, another Estella Rosa/Fadeawayradiate tribute compilation, and b) how on earth did she manage to complete such a project when the great man only passed away around six weeks ago?
All was revealed with the brevity of the three track release and the fact that all the acts involved have had Rosa on vocals at some point and have worked with each other in some capacity. However, if ever an old pals reunion was justified it is on this remarkably tender tribute to Terry Hall (The Specials, Fun Boy Three, The Colourfield, Vegas etc).
As she tends to do, Rosa steals the show, although ably assisted by the perfect foils of her male counterparts. The interpretation of Thinking of You, performed by The Hepburns, is sophisti-pop heaven, with her voice smoothly stroking every note out of the lanquid lyrics and tempo. It’s a sound she was born to omit, and the fact that she does so with the equally luscious vocals of sophisti-pop legend Matt Jones only adds to the magic.
Similarly, the Nah… version of Summer Follows Spring sees Rosa benefit from her association with longtime band partner Seb Voss (The Fisherman and His Soul, Herr Wade) as they proffer faux harmonies with the respective sweet and dulcet vocals that are typified by much of their Nah… union. It feels so natural between these two. Not perfect, perhaps even a little burnished, but gloriously indie in texture.
However, the definitive stand out is the outlier inasmuch that the sophisti-pop is diminished compared to what surrounds it. Here TheCatherines render a version of Sense that falls somehwere between the indietronica of latter era New Order and the swirling lush of The Lightning Seeds, in a track representing pure guitar-pop heaven.
With all proceeds going to the Tonic (Music for Mental Health) charity that Terry Hall was a patron of, never has a body of music been so deserving on so many different levels.