Sad Club Records are slowly but surely awakening the world to the tape cassette revival, and their latest release in support of SPEAR, a charity for homeless young adults, sounds like a sentimental soother, with a cough drop flavoured warmth. You can get your copy here.
The compilation features a cocktail of released and unreleased tracks from artists like YOWL through to VACATIONS and R Stevie Moore. It's one for humid afternoons, long summer days in doors, windows open, curtains drawn, light leaking through the cracks in the blind, yellowy streaks holding trails of dust captive, glistening in its path like ash settling whilst the bonfire smoulders.
It opens with Trudy and the Romance's Is There A Place I Can Go? A low lamplight serenade, smooth and swaying in the kitchen, hand to cheek, feet sliding along a lino floor. Love drunk Lady and the Tramp with a touch of Hollywood stripped down, Hollywood with the lights broken and blinking, Hollywood chinking on a rusty keyring, somewhere between the front door and the garden shed.
Track 4, Vestiges Shoot Me Down is sweet, slow and sentimental, it rocks you gently, thumbs brushing your bare shoulders, a pacifier to alleviate your heart ache, its cigarette smoke leaving patterns on your bathroom tiles, escaping your lips as it drifts towards your open window.
The tape also features ALDOUS RH with Didn't Want To Have To Do It, a melancholy lament, soulful slow burning sorrow, one for over tired evenings alone curled up under a blanket with your feet kicked up on the arm of your chair. When you close your eyes you see a single spotlight, blue, maybe red, casting an ethereal glow on a lone songstress, she's chest infected and pining but you can never be sure whether she's the last actress left on a speakeasy stage, or simply a girl singing into her shower.
Tai Chai Tommy's Buried Under Your Love is mellow, chests rising and falling, wine drunk waltzing in the smoking area as the suns coming up. He sounds like Roy Orbison got lost somewhere inside a Hunter S. Thompson book, a 50's ballad played through a kaleidoscope.
Worst Place's cover of Rush Hour (Jane Wiedlin) sounds like the start of a John Hughes movie, with a slow motion, reverby 80's drum beat, and sweet vocal it leaves images of Molly Ringwald and Demi Moore smudging their eyeliner and fixing their lipstick in their bedroom mirror, too big socks sticking out of dirty high-tops as they gaze je june, just to the left of you.
Track 10 is a previously unreleased tune from Max Gardener. All The Wrong Places is a fairy lit, mellow Monday evening kind of tune, all lava lamps and lying on in the sand at the bottom of a tropical fish tank, watching your breath rise to the surface as phosphorescent bubbles. A distant voice singing somewhere beyond the glass, beachy guitars ebbing and flowing with a gentle current.
Lazy Day's acoustic version of With My Mind is cold coffee and juice, feeling sorry for yourself the morning after another fight. It's sad eyes and struggling to blink, struggling to swallow the lump in your throat, sore and aching with emotions which come keen. Lumen, track 12 on this compilation is possibly one of my favourite Boys Age songs; its steamy, a little sticky, lying back on your bed sheets in only your t-shirt, windows open wide with the heating turned up, laundry hanging from a washing line you've tied to the bed knob and the curtain rail in a weak attempt at adulthood.
Rain freckles your windowsill, streetlights tinge the droplets a milky orange hue, and a voice mumbles a strange melody down an old telephone line. The tape closes with a vulnerable electronic track, Chaos. With a soft, breathy vocal line, Collard string together a trail of broken 3am thoughts, fractured sentences strung together gently, sung softly in your ear, smouldering over slow drum machine beats.
Also featuring serenely smooth sounds from BEACHTAPE, R Stevie Moore and Jerry Paper, The Music Will Save Us vol.1 is the ultimate makeout mixtape, an empty American movie theatre, popcorn spilt on the floor. Its soft and soothing, something to warm you through the winter.
I only wish I hadn't sold my cassette player for £1.50 at a car-boot sale in 2010.