In 1969, John Peel, despite being a huge fan of the track, declared that Space Oddity would never, “in a thousand years”, be a “chartbound hit”, showing even possibly the most knowledgeable music buff in history was still pretty terrible at judging what would be a hit. If you could write an algorithm to accurately calculate chart potential, and plenty of people have tried, you could probably retire tomorrow, however human’s are nothing if not unpredictable when it comes to what music they like. It explains why a song as bafflingly popular as We Built This City On Sausage Rolls can become a Christmas Number One, yet a bona fide pop classic like Girls Just Want To Have Fun can be kept off the top by bloody UB40! Sadly some songs just never get the success they so rightly deserve, and others become smash hits for seemingly no reason at all.
One of our 19 for 2019, Austin, Texas’ own Fanclub are quickly becoming one of our favourite indie-pop bands on the planet. The trio recently released their debut EP, All The Same, on German-label, Friendly Reminder, combining both their very exciting early singles and some new material too. Five tracks of pure-pop perfection, All The Same is the sort of record that was just built for indie-floor filling, that just happened to to be written in an era when the indie-club cupboard is running a little bare. Pairing twitching, Postal Service-like electronics with melancholic, and stunningly tuneful vocals, All The Same is a stunning collection of beautifully sad songs, all nostalgic heartache and yet remarkably fresh. Fanclub might just have written the best dream-pop record you’ll hear all year, just at a time when we were starting to think there was nothing new the genre had to offer.
Today, Fanclub have put together a mixtape featuring some classic songs, that maybe never quite got the attention they so rightly deserved, featuring the likes of Joanna Gruesome, The Softies and Sexy Kids.
“Songs that should have been more popular than they were IMHO (Mike Lee of Fanclub). These are all bangers. In my eyes, they all have 80M Spotify plays :)”
1. Joanna Gruesome – “Sugarcrush” (2013)
Ok so this was pretty popular but not enough IMHO, the album got a good review on Pitchfork, but like, this is song is EPIC. It has just the right amount of noise and jangle and guy girl harmonies. It was sad when Alanna Mcardle (singer) left the band bc I get weak when I hear that amazing voice. She also left for mental health reasons so S/O to self-care! Hope you’re doing better and just know that you were part of one of the best songs everrrrrrr.
2. Sexy Kids – “Sisters Are Forever” (2008)
This was also on Slumberland so you know it’s good. But hello did anyone ever talk about this song? It’s soooooo good holy crap. Please add this to all your playlists already geez.
3. ST – “Debut” (2006)
Of all songs in the world, I wish I wrote this. The aesthetic is everything I want to be. Clean, crisp, hushed, smart, interesting. This is also the hardest song to google/find. To help you out the album is called ‘People I Barely Know’ – and this ST person is from Sweden so obviously it’s gonna be good. One of my favorite songs ever and I nor anyone else know anything about the artist. So weird. I think he collaborated with a different person for every song on the album.
4. Color Filter – “New Words” (1998)
Off the EP ‘Sleep in a Synchotron’ which is itself amazing, this Japanese artist showed me that an MPC could be used to make indie songs and not just hip hop. Also the way Japanese people sing English is the perfect way to hear English sung IMHO.
5. The Finches – “Daniel’s Song” (2005)
I saw the Finches play in LA and was confused why Carolyn wasn’t a gigantic rock star. Her voice is lush, warm, poignant, beautiful. I want to sing like her please! But on top of the that, this song is just perfectly written IMHO. Why was this not on every radio station????
6. Butcher The Bar – “Get Away” (2008)
I knew about this b/c he was on Morr Music, and I love all things Morr. Kids, get to know your labels better! If you love an artist chances are you’ll love some of their labelmates. These labels make the world a better place! Anyway, this song is so simple yet so great. Always reminds me that if your song sucks on acoustic guitar, it probably sucks.
7. The Softies – “These Sad Times” (1995)
This is one of many of Rose Melberg’s bands. It’s brand is on point. Hella soft. I love listening to this in the mornings. Given how big Tiger Trap was, I’m surprised the Softies weren’t more lauded.
8. Jai Paul – “BTSTU” (2007)
This song was actually incredibly popular (was also found on MySpace lol) but b/c he never really put out music afterwards (one song and a speculated leaked album), he just kind of went dark. Sucks because this song is sooooo fire. That beat. That haunting, pulsating synth riff. That falsetto. Maybe it’s just that one true love that you can never rekindle again. Nice to have known you, Jai. Dayummmmmmm
9. Starsmith – “Lesson One” (2011)
Ok this is for the electro/French house heads…and this is the way to start a band- this song alone should propel you into stardom. Not sure why it didn’t blowup bigger because I think this song is sheer gold.
10. Reverie Sound Revue – “Rip The Universe” (2003)
This EP is everything. It’s bare bones and the talent shines through. My friend Patrick turned me on to this. He actually bought me the CD when he went back home to Canada- said the guy just went in the back of the record store and burned it for him. Lisa Lobsinger went on to sing for Broken Social Scene but even that claim to fame didn’t have millions of fans swooning over this song which IMHO there should be millions of people listening to this. Or at least 10,000 people but a million times each.
All The Same is out now Friendly Reminder. Click HERE for more information on Fanclub.