• pocketbooks Flight Paths (CD, £4.70)

    label: How Does It Feel to Be Loved

    “Pocketbooks are pure snowshaker pop, and more dressing table than kitchen sink” - Simon Armitage. Pocketbooks, three northerners and two southerners based in London, remember when indie pop knew how to sparkle. When songs weren’t afraid to be bright and uplifting, even if the subject matter was anything but. When bands adopted innocent sounding names like Everything But The Girl, The Housemartins and The Sundays, because they weren’t skulking in the shadows of “cool”. When indie pop reflected tiny moments in the suburbs rather than melodramas in squats and dingy clubs. Single “Footsteps” is classic indie pop through and through. Set, in part, on “the top deck of the 23”, it sweeps from “the supermarket aisles to the dancefloors of provincial towns”, from “the platforms of the Central line to the beaches of a south coast town”. Its protagonists aren’t junkies or hustlers, but “couples holding hands in the high street”. The kind of people, in other words, that indie pop seems to have forgotten. “Flight Paths”, the band’s debut album, continues the theme, from the cover photograph of a picnic on Primrose Hill, the Telecom Tower just visible in the background haze, to eleven songs which do for indie pop what “Modern Life Is Rubbish” did for Britpop. Except the tone here isn’t dismissive or determinedly iconoclastic. These songs chart dreamers in small towns, where “the cinema closed and the theatre closed too” but the charity shops remain, who stare at the “lights beyond the ring road and the social club”. Real life, then: stepping over the gutter, looking up at the flight paths. Tracklisting: (1) Footsteps (2) Fleeting Moments (3) Camera Angles (4) The Outskirts Of Town (5) Cross The Line (6) Skating On Thin Ice (7) Sweetness And Light (8) I’m Not Going Out (9) Every Good Time We Ever Had (10) Paper Aeroplanes (11) All We Do Is Rush Around


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