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album cover for Sleeper's Smart

Sleeper - Smart (1995)

I'm desperately trying to remember how I discovered this album. I was born in '94 so definitely missed the time it was on the radio. I spent a lot of time on indie music blogs late 00s - early 10s but they were too busy with new stuff to post about something so mainstream from 15 years ago. So I must have found it on the iTunes store, back when I spent far too much time combing through recommended albums and "people who bought this song also bought" lists. And then, two weeks ago on a trip in PA for a wedding, I found this on cassette for a few bucks. Instant nostalgia rush. And now here I am listening to this album again and remembering just how fucking catchy it is! And just how much I love to hear the lead singer croon "pyrotechnician, I think I love you". Great to throw on for a pick-me-up, especially on rainy work days when you're meant to be emailing clients and all you want to do is curl up with a book.

Recommended tracks: Inbetweener, Bedhead, Pyrotechnician

album cover for Agent Sparks' Red Rover cover

Agent Sparks - Red Rover (2006)

this is a group I don't think I've ever heard anyone else talk about. I found out about them through a CD Hot Topic handed out as a sampler way back when; Strange Music For Strange People By Emily The Strange - Volume 1. Growing up I would go through my parents CDs sometimes and I found this one tucked away somewhere (and immediately lost it... I searched for that thing everywhere and never found it again) and Agent Sparks' song 'Polly Anne' really stuck with me. I got their full album and ever since I've revisited it every few years. Maybe it's nostalgia talking but I think there's something special here! They stand out enough from the indie rock of the time (is it the vocals? the more layered instrumentation?) that I think they deserve more attention.

Recommended tracks: Polly Anne, Mr. Insecurity, Peeping Tommy, Razorhand

album cover for Au Pairs' Stepping Out of Line: The Anthology

Au Pairs - Stepping Out of Line: The Anthology (2006)

can anything compare to Au Pairs? this anthology has so many great tracks sung so many different ways; I love the BBC Session version of Monogamy as well as getting to hear EP tracks like You and Kerb Crawler. this really is just a great overall look at Au Pairs and their output and a great intro for anyone wanting to get into more 70s/80s women punk/post-punk.

Recommended tracks: Monogamy (BBC Session), Ideal Woman (BBC Session), It's Obvious, Unfinished Business

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