Sunday, January 07, 2007

My first purchase of a genuine 2007 release...

Almost all UK new releases come out on a Monday and as Monday 1st January 2007 was a Bank Holiday in the UK this just added to the general sense of awfulness that Christmas "pop music" brings; it being all too fresh on the mind. It is therefore hardly surprising that this was a week that was another absolute non-starter for UK new releases. Buying a genuine 2007 new release this week was not actually as easy as it may seem!

I have had one in particular on my list for some while
however - and it was a result of my searches across both genres and labels. My first 2007 album (well strictly it is an EP, but who is to quibble when it is this good) is Station Life by Anne Bacheley, a French singer-songwriter born in 1977 and then variously resident in Caen, Vannes, Paris, Cambridge and Nantes, but now settled in Poitiers.
While not actually her first release, the Mixtape Babies EP of 2004 probably has a claim to that, this is her first real solo release that has everything: a screen printed sleeve, booklet and everything else one might want - in short all that might lead you to think that she has been snapped up by a major label.
In fact nothing could be further from the truth. Station Life, for all the glory of its packaging and the truly minimalist cover art (also by the artist), was actually released on the tiny French Indie label MIMIKAKI on 01/01/2007 and it is limited to just 133 copies.

I haven't yet mentioned the best thing about it - the music.
This varies widely; from the slightly stabby acoustic guitar and tambourine of opener 'Good Luck Dear' to the beautiful warm vocal and flute-laden 'Lost Weekend', plus everything and more in between. 'Elastic Girl' starts as an almost normal guitar and drums track (it is none the worse for that), then temporarily metamorphoses part way through as if in a dream, only to return slightly changed as a result.

For those of you that might worry about such things, or even the small matter of language, this EP is actually all sung in English but the really important thing is that it all works - absolutely!

All copies of Station Life are individually numbered and, for as long as they remain available, this 6-track CD costs just €10 (port payĆ© dans la UE) and it is an unmissable bargain.

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