The fact that this 1985 recording from Martin Newell could have been released yesterday to heaps of praise probably says more about the vast modern musical landscape than Newell’s songwriting itself. Which is to say that Songs For A Fallow Land, which is being reissued on Taylor Richardson (Infinity Window) and Gary War’s new label Fixed Identity, is very much a product of the 80s: an early home recording opus steeped in pop songcraft but obscured by hiss and sonic charm. Sound familiar? Listen to the production quality on “Golden Lane” — might as well be a new Ariel Pink single. Importantly, Newell and the new crop of lo-fi pop anti-stars share the revisionist tendency to re-imagine old tropes through a warped, half remembered lens. In Newell’s case, there is a visible Syd Barrett influence (visible because Barrett’s “Late Night” gets covered) fused with an eerie, 80s propulsiveness especially evident on the track “Gamma Ray Blue,” which you can hear below.
• Info on Martin Newell: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Newell_%28musician%29
• Fixed Identity: http://www.fixedidentity.blogspot.com/