Françoise Hardy – La Question (1971)
I guess this must be how people expect music from France to be: all breathy and voluminous; sexy…(insert appropriate adjectives here). She is no longer the tall, awkward girl fumbling with her guitar on The Yeh-Yeh Girl From Paris but the femme fatale who is quite aware of her own power over men. Her voice has a certain allure that draws the listener in, which is nicely complimented by Brazilian guitarist Tuca’s sparse pickings – and the orchestra! Wow. Just wow. It’s hard to pick three songs, damn it all.
Highlights: Viens, Doights, Si Mi Caballero
Pulp – Different Class (1995)
I’ve been listening to Jarvis’s lyrics more closely this week and they are a masterclass in working-class rage, thinly disguised in the form of Jarvis’s nerdy-glam teacher persona. It’s seedy and Day-Glo all at once. Pulp makes life an everyday soap drama worth watching.
Highlights: Common People, Pencil Skirt, Sorted for E’s and Wizz
Maurice Deebank – Inner Thought Zone (1984)
If you like the Durutti Column or Aztec Camera then this is perfect for you. Maurice Deebank recorded Inner Thought Zone while still with Felt; he would leave shortly after the making of Ignite The Seven Cannons in 1985. Maurice Deebank was the perfect foil to Lawrence’s poetic raconteur – with his classically trained chops he could conjure a melancholy, dreamy poignance to Felt. He brings that to Inner Thought Zone, with lots of that melancholic jangly sound now complete with wind-swept synths. What is left of Felt’s romantic allure are song titles such as Silver Fountain Of Paradise Square and my personal favourite – A Tale From Scriabin’s Lonely Trail.
Highlights: Golden Hills, Pavane, A Tale From Scriabin’s Lonely Trail