Tuesday, 11 January 2011

As I Write 'Today' Ten Times

Productivity is overrated. It feels like every time I come across a new band or musician I love they keep releasing new music at a rate I can't keep up with. Often I look at friends' Last.fm pages and am intimidated by the sheer volume of music they listen to. Or at this time of year see people's 'end of year' lists and wonder if they spent the whole year critically assessing music without finding time to enjoy it. On a regular day I usually listen to some songs on my iPod over the 20 minutes or so it takes me to get into work/university - then the same back - and then a record or two over the evening if I'm staying in. And I'm happy with that. I don't think I could really enjoy anymore.

This is basically a long winded way of saying The Andersen Tapes work at a pace I appreciate. The Andersen Tapes' first LP As I Write 'Today' Ten Times documents ten songs Amanda Aldervall wrote between 2005 and 2010. Three of the songs appeared on a 2008 Cloudberry single, and just as that release felt like a perfect 3" CD single Today is perfectly suited to it's format. I recently heard someone describe The Aislers Set's How I Learnt To Write Backwards as having the same feeling of a flawed masterpiece as The Beach Boys Friends. It's a comparison that I immediately identified with, and as someone who likes Friends more than Pet Sounds I don't see anything pegorative about describing an album as flawed. Records described as 'pop masterpieces' are usually pretty dull. Comparisons with How I Learnt to Write Backwards don't just apply in terms of spirit either, for whatever reason I've found myself listening to these two records back-to-back. Take from that what you want - but hopefully it's enough to get you to head over to the Fraction Discs page and the band's myspace to listen to the songs for yourself.