Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Albums: 87: :The Sundays: Reading, Writing and Arithmetic

In the late 80's a lot of bands were mimicking the jangle and rolling strum of Johnny Marr, and nobody did jangley adult pop better than The Smiths until... this band; with their first single they had the same 'where did that come from?' impact that the 'The Las' would later have with 'There She Goes'. 'Here's Where the Story Ends' went to number 1 in the US. No 'one hit wonders' though, they went on to release 'Blind' (92) and their final album 'Static and Silence' in 1997, which gave them their biggest UK hit with 'Summertime'.
All good stuff but how could they ever rediscover the charming naivety that gracefully elevated their stunning debut to such giddy heights?

Harriet Wheeler's voice floats euphorically above the sweet, toothless union of Joy Division and The Smiths; not a bitter pill sugar coated; more a blissful bileless bellyful of influence; her melodies are joyful still...


  1. I fell in love with HWs voice as soon as i heard Can't be Sure on John Peel. I think the Sunday's guitarist never gets the credit he deserves. I love this lp, thought the 2nd was a bit of a misfire and then loved the 3rd which i think just pips it as my favourite

  2. I bought Can't Be Sure when it came out but never consummated the relationship any further. I guess I thought Harriet Wheeler was Liz Fraser lite, or a less bonkers Björk. But I did like them. And I'm enjoying listening again.

  3. The Mortal Coil lite comparison works well; Harriet more of an ethereal 'Will o the Wisp' to Liz's 'Earth Mother'... the comparison might also have something to do with the heavy 'chorus' on the guitar and bass...