The Catenary Wires - Red Red Skies - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

The Catenary Wires - Red Red Skies

by Jeff Penczak Rating:10 Release Date:2015-06-01

Oh, golly, oh gosh, anorak-sia is back with this Heavenly revival of the twee, C86 sounds of Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey, household names around these parts and former mates who graced our turntables for the past 30 years courtesy of stratospheric pop masterpieces via their Talulah Gosh, Heavenly, Marine Research, and Tender Trap projects. The Catenary Wires picks up the gauntlet with eight angelic acts of harmonic pop that prove they’ve lost none of their sheen at crafting the softest, sweetest pop that has launched a thousand bands, from Belle & Sebastian and Saint Etienne, to Elefant stablemates like Camera Obscura, The Yearning, The School, The Magic Theatre, and Trembling Blue Stars/Lightning in a Twilight Hour.

Fletcher’s voice can still melt hearts at a thousand paces, the softly strummed acoustic accompaniment adds a tender folksy vibe to the set, and there’s a melancholic pall that wanders around the room in silent slippers so as not to disturb the kiddies sleeping in the room next door.

Elefant is also to be commended for including the lyrics, so we can follow along the seemingly intertwined stories of shaky relationships, forlorn lovers, and tentative couplings that may never reach the next plateau. The album title comes from one of the stronger tracks, ‘The Records We Never Play’: "Red, red skies in the morning/ Still sore from yesterday/ Our last day, it is dawning…/ We could share out the records/ we never play…"

Our lovers are lying about, recalling “their first day”, but things are so different now. This sense of lost opportunities permeates the tracks, so if you’re in the throes of an awkward relationship (or just ending one). 

This can be a painful listening experience. But sometimes knowing you’re not the only one to have loved and lost can make the pain go away a little faster. The song titles say it all, accompanied by lyrics like “I’m waiting for the day/ when you walk away/ and you never said you wouldn’t leave me” (‘When You Walk Away’); “Throw another love song on the fire/ I lost my inspiration/ cos my enamouration/ was a lie/ thanks for making me unhappy…” (‘Throw Another Love Song on the Fire)’; “It was over before it started/ in my head only/ Still shocked how it made you harden/ Your heart against me” (‘Too Late, I Love you’).

Shit, I haven’t been this depressed since I heard the poetry of Morrissey and Ian Curtis put to music (that’s The Smiths and Joy Division, for all you kids out there). But sometimes it takes a catharsis like this to breed an epiphany, so if you’re going through a rough spot in your relationship, play this for each other and discover all the wonderful reasons you came together in the first place.

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