It’s time I took a break from dancing with wild abandon to old Alphabeat videos (with moves I learned from 1980 Cyndi Lauper) to post the first dedicated installment in our new Indiepop’d Friday series. And with that, it’s only right that we return to the place that started it all. From the early days when the original C86 tape celebrated the eponymous scene that may or may not have even existed before it was named, Glasgow has been a sort of Fertile Crescent for all things indiepop. Even now, 25 years later, the Britain’s second city remains home to many of the premier indiepop bands, labels, and club nights. And out of that jangly come Strawberry Whiplash.
Strawberry Whiplash have been featured here a couple of times in the past, so I won’t go into too many details, but for those who were not with us the last time Laz and Sandra made an appearance here (two years ago) here are the basics. Laz plays the instruments. Sandra sings. The rest you can probably guess from that introductory paragraph you read about 30 seconds ago. (Bonus fact: Laz also plays in Bubblegum Lemonade.) If you want to know more, you can go read those old posts or their page on the Matinée website.
And you’ll probably want to be heading over to the Matinée site anyway to pick up a copy of ‘Stop, Look, and Listen’, the band’s new 7” and their third release on Matinée (not including a few compilation contributions)*. While their last release, the Picture Perfect EP, incorporated trace elements of shoegaze alongside jangly 60s guitars, ‘Stop, Look, and Listen’ owes more to the likes of The Shop Assistants and Talulah Gosh than to My Bloody Valentine.
The powerful melodies and whimsically wispy female vocals are vintage C86, but at the same time, this isn’t exactly the amateurish shambling of your parents’ indiepop. This is melodic DIY at it’s best: upbeat, jangly, and unforgettably singable. And how nice it is that now, in the waning days of the year we put the nail in the coffin of indie rock, there’s still a haven for we, the Terminally Uncool, on the periphery of the crumbling Kingdom of Leon. It’s enough to make you want to pull out your best jumper and do that pseudo-running man indiekid dance in the most unironic way possible.
The ‘Stop, Look, and Listen’ 7” is limited to 500 hand-numbered copies on transparent red vinyl and is available from Matinée Recordings as well of several independent record shops around the world (and internet).
1. Stop, Look And Listen [download mp3]
2. In The Blink Of An Eye
3. Luck Is The Residue Of Design
*While you’re there, have a look at their immense year-end clearance sale. There are some fantastic deals to be had. I pretty much bought half the catalogue last week, so tweet me for recommendations.