I only know about Telex cos my mate who worked at WH Smiths with me lent me their album ‘Birds And Bees’ (called ‘Sex’ everywhere else, apparently).
I knew nothing about the band, it was 1982, who knew anything about musicians back then? If they weren’t in Smash Hits or on the Oxford Road Show – nada.
I fell in love with the mystery of the band and of this album, which sounds like a synthpop soundtrack for a film noir. The production stands up now, forty years after it was made. It remains one of my favourite ever albums. I didn’t even know then it was a collaboration with the equally awesome Sparks.
I’m gonna rip off the Telex sound as much as is humanly possible.
The song is, as ever, about more than one thing. A lot of it is about my frustration with conventional relationships, both sexual and non-sexual and how annoyed I am by the compartmentalisation of feelings expected therein.
It’s also about kissing. And the memory of wrapping one particular person up in a big fluffy towel as she stood naked, wet and beautiful.
If you haven’t bought The Hidden Cameras‘ new album ‘Age’ yet, you’re missing out on some sublime indiepop. Joel remains one of my favourite songwriters, eleven years after I first fell in love with ‘Music Is My Boyfriend.’
This is the last day of this year so it seemed appropriate to stick the last video up from ‘Monopole’ today.
In December 2010, I filmed the first video for ‘Monopole,’ ‘Cut Out My Heart.’
Three years on and I’ve done what I set out to do, make a video for each of the eleven tracks on the album. It’s been a difficult process but I’ve learned loads through taking it on. Which is why I did it, of course.
When I look at the early vids, part of me imagines the better edit I could do now, the more consistent framing or cinematography. But each one was the best I could do at the time and like every album and every song I’ve ever written, I’m proud of them all.
‘Anywhere But Here’ is the last song on ‘Monopole’ as well as being the last to have a video made. I remember recording it one afternoon. I felt like my heart was freezing inside me, this dreadful coldness and weight. I imagined it like a great iceberg, calving into the sea.
So I set up one mic and sang this song. One mic, one take, one track. No autotune, no massaging, no fucking editing. My voice is my voice, my guitar is my guitar.
All I have left is my honesty, I don’t ever now if I even had the truth.
I’m glad this year is coming to an end. I’m hoping 2014 is better.