Album Review – Come To My World: A Tribute to Sarah Records by Space Kelly (2023) (Lounge Records)


By my reckoning there have been 7,424 Sarah Records themed or tribute releases. Of course that is only in the last five years.
The other 12,462 were from the 10 years before that as a market opened for student types from the late 80s and 90s where adulthood and academic achievement had provided them with the sort of successful careers that gave them enough disposable income to suddenly become Sarah Records collecting hipsters, when previously Texas and Bon Jovi had been their halls of residence boombox fodder.
Of course, I joke that there have not been that many Sarah Records tributes, but I think we can all agree that there have been a fair few. This one from the Ken Steen fronted Berlin-based indie-pop legends Space Kelly is somewhat different by virtue of being a) the best and b) being somewhat perverse compared to the millions of others (oops there I go again with the hyperbole).
For Space Kelly, don’t do ‘Sarah uniformity’ by trying to do faithful (non) adaptations of the originals. Instead, they take the omnipotent jangle that typifies many of the acts on the label’s roster and gently guide them in other nuanced, jangly indie-pop directions to ensure that the tracks are given new life.
As such, Tell Me How It Feels and Caveman flirt with the deliberately cute and ponderous jangly brilliance of The Yellow Melodies and Belle and Sebastian-style twee-pop, whereas the luscious production of the various Scouse-pop Michael Head acts caress our aural sense in Ahprahan (The Sugargliders) and River (Blue Boy).
However, the core sound of the release is heard in Are We Gonna Be Alright (The Springfields), Killjoy (Brighter), Emma’s House (The Field Mice), and Shallow (Heavenly). Here the music treads softly towards the dank, slightly dreaming chiming jangle-pop of the recent My Raining Stars aesthetic, as the ‘lucid pretty’ that is so entwined with our Sarah Records memories is shifted towards a modern level of stunning dulcet.
CD safely ordered, this is the first Sarah tribute I have ever purchased. The reasons why are so very clear with just one listen.






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