Cover illustration of mystery novel Yellow Violet by Frances Crane, 1942
I'm out of town for a couple days, so I'm resurrecting my lame "Phoning It In" feature.
Last year, when Merge Records was celebrating its 20th anniversary with its SCORE CD series, I got a chance to hear a lot of the early Merge bands I'd never heard. The peppy kiwi-pop of the Mad Scene was one sound that stood out, so I picked up a copy of their Merge full-length Sealight. I was a little disappointed that more than half of the album had a moody, overcast feel to it that pops up a surprising amount in New Zealand indie music, but "Transatlantic Telephone Conversation" was one track that was just what I'd been hoping to hear. With its Clean guitar sound (get it? the Mad Scene's Hamish Kilgour is also in the band the Clean!), handclaps, and simple melody, it gave me flashbacks to the mid-'90s and the simple pop that was so popular with the CMJ crowd at the time. Good stuff.
"Transatlantic Telephone Conversation" by the Mad Scene