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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Indie Anthology 51: essential songs

We reached another Blog landmark: 50 tunes on our Indie Anthology. So number 51 had to be something special. Very special. So I decided to go even more personal, openly confessional (apologies if I get a bit cheesy) with next tune. Not just a great tune from one of my favourite pop composers of all time. Along with R.E.M., probably the reason this Blog exists...

Song: Instinct
Artist: Crowded House
Year: 1996

The first record I bought was 'Recurring Dream' the greatest hits compilation album Crowded House released as their (then) swan song. It's hard to believe today, but the record got quite a lot of buzz in Spain (there was even a TV ad) and radio airplay and, on a time that now seems ages ago, the video of 'Instinct', was frequently on programs like 'Los 40 Principales' or 'Sputnik' (check the vid). I got abducted by Neil Finn's masterful ability to create eternal pop tunes. Romantic but with a darker twist, funny, carefree (ok, sometimes a bit silly too) and power-pop numbers cohabiting with melancholic and moodier ones, not afraid of dealing with riskier subjects. Middle eight melodies capable of getting epic without crossing the annoying line, always with a fragment ready to reach you in a way you wouldn't want the rest of the world know. Can sadness be uplifting? Try Crowded House... Of course I ran to grab a copy to almost every album (try asking for Splitz Enz debut in Barcelona before the Internet arrived), lost single and book (first music biography I ever read in English). I followed Neil Finn's solo career and saw him presenting the lovely and surprising 'Try Whistling This' album in Barcelona, my first gig, joined by my father, who was really surprised how different his sons could be (my brother was into Depeche Mode then, 'Ultra' era). But then I just couldn't stop, so I went deeper, on his music style, influences and origins... then the Pandora's box opened: The Bats, The Verlaines, The Chills, but also Marr & Morrissey, and then... umm you pretty much have a clue of the rest if you follow this Blog. Although time has put Crowded House on a different perspective to me, I still would carry 'Together Alone' with me to a desert island, and I still have goosebumps every time I hear 'Distant Sun', 'Fingers of Love' or 'Weather With You'. To put it simply, Crowded House are my Beatles. "Your instinct can't be wrong"...

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