20 December 2007

An illustrated history: Broadcast, 1997-present.

You all already know how I feel about Stereolab; well, Broadcast is its little sister. You know, the sister who decided to chop off all her hair and sing about the darkness of life and love and although they are equally political as the big sister, they aren't as sublime sounding. They are more serious. Smiling is not little sister's forte.

Listening to Broadcast's debut LP The Noise Made By People, an album I still cannot believe came out in 2000 in the UK and not 1966 in Paris, I always get lost in its sound, like I'm in a trance. I feel like I'm transported in an Alphaville-esque film that touches on the demise of humans. Even the videos from the album looks like those footages we see of students testing out LSD for the first time in the '60s. It's like reading early Kurt Vonnegut novels.

Unfortunately, that album is hard to buy anywhere. Fortunately, I scored an awesome deal on it. But unfortunately, it needs to be back in stock so everyone can explore the genius minds that are Trish Keenan and James Cargill, along with former members Roj Stevens and Tim Felton.

Some Noise videos:


"Come On Let's Go"

Three years later, Broadcast released the dream-poppier Ha Ha Sound. Not dream pop in the Yo La Tengo sense, but in the sense where little sister has grown into a more peaceful person and wants to experiment with a "prettier" sound. There's no way you can feel down listening to it. If anything, it began to show Broadcast's range. In Noise you were only exposed to Keenan's vocals, including her layering her voice to bring that eerie-spacey sound. In Ha Ha Sound, it's more harmonic with other vocalists, similar to the one-two punch that was Stereolab's Laetitia Sadier and Mary Hansen. If anything, Ha Ha brought them back to Earth (ish).

Ha Ha tracks:

In 2005, Broadcast transferred their sounds into a more mature album, Tender Buttons. Instead of talking about ditching the man-made world that we live in, which were recurring themes from the previous albums, the band focuses on serious topics such as politics, breakups and, well, actually they still talk about the downfall of humanity (I mean, how can you escape it?). Usually singing in a higher-pitch voice, Keenan takes her vocals down some octaves.

This particular album is special to me because it was the introductory Broadcast album for me. I was amazed that there was a band like this making music in our generation still.

Buttons tracks:
Broadcast - Black Cat
Broadcast - Corporeal
Broadcast - Michael A Grammar

Allright, folks. Now you are at least 75 percent aware of Broadcast's brilliance. I left off 1997's Work and Non-Work and 2006's The Future Crayon because those are compilations of singles and rarities. The band is currently working on its fourth studio album, release date unknown. Keenan and Cargill are the only original members left in the band.

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