Various Artists - Still Occupied Though You Forget - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Various Artists - Still Occupied Though You Forget

by Luke Frost Rating:7 Release Date:2010-04-17

Dance to the Radio is five years old. Doesn't time fly? And to celebrate this milestone, the Leeds-based independent record label has served up a compilation of old school and new school acts lovingly titled Still Occupied Though You Forget.

Anyone you've heard of? Yeah, course: iLIKETRAiNS and Bear In Heaven grace the CD, but as we all know, the beauty of independent labels is the little gems just waiting to be found.

So why not try Just Handshakes (We're British), a Leeds-based band currently making waves. The track here, 'Hold Your Breath', is an absolute delight. It is peaceful, friendly and soft, like spending a day laid on the grass looking at clouds. Steve Lamacq has already given the band airtime and based on 'Hold Your Breath' they clearly have 'next big thing' written all over them.

Also well worth a listen are Club Smith and The Manic Street Preachers-sounding 'Lament', Oberhofer's 'AWY FRM U' and Paul Thomas Saunders with 'The Death of a Sports Personality' which sounds like Sigur Ros singing words you can actually understand.

Thankfully Dance to the Radio has seized this opportunity to give us another glimpse of the distinctive voice of Rose Elinor Dougall. Familiar to those who remember The Pipettes (and will admit it), this warm simple pop song shows off her voice well and is similar to her former band (in a good way).

And no Dance to the Radio CD would be complete without Leeds staple The Sunshine Underground. With such a long absence, it's good to know the band are still alive - and this CD is timed perfectly to feature an alternative version of their recent single 'We've Always Been Your Friends'.

Alternative indeed. This is a slower, more direct version of the song and it is The Sunshine Underground refusing to hide behind rave anthems; you can even hear what appears to be a guitar. I can only assume it is real.

Less funky, less electronic, less Sunshine Underground really, the song is certainly not as good as the original - but it makes a nice contrast and fits in well with the rest of the album.

It is good to see how far Dance to the Radio has come, and with some of the new talent oozing out of this album, an anniversary album in 2015 will be well worth waiting for.

Luke Frost

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