Wednesday, May 04, 2005

 

Checking up on Jessica Bailiff...

...is something I do regularly, ever since she helped nudge David Pearce of Flying Saucer Attack somewhat out of retirement with their Clear Horizon album several years ago. I'm still not sure that that album has gotten the proper amount of appreciation, especially given how well liked FSA were at one time. In case you didn't listen to me two years ago, here's another chance to hear Watching The Sea. For my money, it ranks up with FSA's best and beats the pants off of Smile in the "getting the older generation back to work" competition.

According to her website, there'll be another Clear Horizon album someday, and I'll keep one of my many eyes out for that, though my eye isn't holding its breath.

Meanwhile, she has a few new projects that are scheduled to come out soon. Most involve EPs and such, so I'm not posting any tracks.

One is a collaboration between Jessica and Rachel Staggs (of Experimental Aircraft) called Eau Claire (to be released on Clairerecords ha ha). An awful lot of bloggers, myself included, have posted Experimental Aircraft's wonderful song Symphony, one of the better shoegaze attempts in recent years, surprisingly created by a bunch of Texans. "Better" especially in the sense that they took the time to write an actual memorable melody before swathing it in gauze. I'm not going to post the track again, but if your button-clicking finger isn't out of wack, you can still get it at their website. Note that they too have a new album on the way.

Getting back to Eau Claire, you can hear some (kind of mid fi) samples here. The track Song For is surprisingly poppy and might please folks who find Jessica's solo stuff a little too spacy, while Freefall is more what you'd expect from these two. Kind of depressing that fewer than 400 people have heard these songs, if the stats on the myspace page (at press time) are to be believed.

Elsewhere, Jessica has a forthcoming 4-song 7" single that includes a cover of FSA's Come and Close My Eyes. The original is from Further, which is my favorite FSA album. Rather than try to describe FSA's sound, here's the original track. (FSA were influenced by a lot of people: old Pink Floyd, various Krautrockers, My Bloody blah blah blah, and the sonic limitations of a 4-track cassette recorder, but ultimately their sound was their own to the extent that comparisons are kind of pointless).

And finally, while I'm not really a fan of Low, I know that a lot of indie-types are. Jessica had a track on the Low tribute We Could Live In Hope that came out late last year. I'm mostly mentioning that to try to make her relevent to any god-forsaken soul who's thus far failed to hear Flying Saucer Attack, Clear Horizon, or her solo albums. Ultimately it may be the least interesting reason on this page to check her out. She was probably more interesting covering the other slowcore band (the one that didn't quite make it) Codeine. Here's her not-always-gentle version of their song Cave In, from an old split single (which, like much of her work, was produced by Alan Sparhawk, so I should probably be nicer about Low. Sorry.).

Foo Fighter fans may be interested to know that the original Codeine song was the inspiration for the not-very-Codeine-sounding band Cave In.



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