I haven’t bought anything on vinyl for years. While I’ll still enough of a Luddite to prefer my music in real, hold-in-your-hand form rather than digital download vague-ery, I’ve tended to lean on the unloved, possibly evil, compact disc format ahead of the hipper, warmer vinyl. Yet this week after hearing Teardrop Factory for the first time I had to order their debut EP on lovely 7″ vinyl.
It helps that for the first time in a long time I can get myself to a record player pretty easily. But I also wanted to get something tangible through the post, to handle, pore over and enjoy. Sure, a digital download came free with it too, but that’s just not the same, is it?
I’m sure this new, odd vinyl compulsion is linked to some form of nostalgia. It is linked to a youth looking through my parents’ record collection, to buying my first singles on vinyl, to working my way through endless bargain bins. Buying a 7″ single is, at least in some part, a nostalgic and indulgent exercise.
And the sound of Teardrop Factory doesn’t hurt. It harks back to the shoegaze-y, genuinely ‘indie’ feel of the early 90s – the time when I was first properly buying records myself. There is a solid connect between music, memory and format. It is fuzzy and warm, tapping into memories of the lack of fidelity, yet immense intimacy, of listening to badly-tuned radios in my teenage years.
This isn’t just some sonic coziness though, a recreation of a past. There is enough of a new slant on old ideas to keep it interesting. This is garage rock played through a dream pop filter, with an evocative balance between low-fi textures and lazy hooks which puts me in some sort of filmic reverie. Some songs just sound better through a haze, they paint the best pictures.
But I should also snap out of all that pseudo-bollocks and just say that this is a great EP, a format I’d half-thought didn’t exist anymore. It is a great introduction to a really promising new band, the ideal format to show off who they are and what they do, without giving away too much. I’m looking forward to hearing what they do next. You can listen to a couple of the EP’s tracks below, but I think you really need to order the whole thing…