Content kindly supplied from Joe Clay’s excellent new blog Ecstasy In Slow Motion, the new home for the mp3 blog formerly known as The White Noise Revisited
Alan McGee’s A&R radar had gone properly on the blink by the time he started Poptones – his post-Creation venture – in the first throes of the Noughties. His ears were more shot than those of a First World War veteran, and his signing policy as erratic as a cat on crack (El Vez? Ping Pong Bitches?). Luckily, he surrounded himself with people with fully functioning lugholes and when a tape of January was passed his way, McGee was all over it - immediately recognising a chance to reclaim past glories. January were a diamond that sparkled in the dirt. Tellingly, they sounded like the ultimate Creation band – an amalgamation of all that was great about McGee’s peerless (at points) label.
They made one album for Poptones – the wonderful I Heard Myself In You. As a body of work it was stunning, marking out the group’s leader Simon McLean as a real songwriting talent. Highlights included the gorgeously hypnotic Eyes All Mine with its melancholy organs, repetitive bassline and delicate, country-flecked plucking from Sarah Peacock, formerly of ambient electronic icons Seefeel. In typically hyperbolic fashion, McGee dubbed Peacock ”the best guitarist in the world” ahead of the album’s release. My other favourite is All Time. It’s as good as anything on Mark Gardener’s side of Ride’s Carnival of Light - lush acoustic strumming building to an incandescent denouement. Joining all the dots was Mads Bjerke, who had previously mixed Spiritalized’s Pure Phase so knew a thing or two about constructing exquisite sonic cathedrals. January never received the acclaim they deserved. They were a few years too late for the original shoegazing scene and a few years too early for its unexpected but glorious revival. Timing is everything in music…
Search eBay for January
Great interview with Simon McLean from 2005 here
Re-posted from the Ecstasy In Slow Motion – the new home for the mp3 blog formerly known as The White Noise Revisited. The tracks posted here are either available with the permission of the record label and/or artist, or from deleted or commercially unavailable releases. Failing this, if you are the copyright holder and want the track to be taken down, you only have to ask and I will oblige. Most downloads will be available for about a week, after which they will be deleted from the server.
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