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Nicholas Collins
Nicholas Collins

The Influence and Legacy of Felt's The Strange Idols Pattern And Other Short Stories

The Strange Idols Pattern And Other Short Stories Rar: A Review of Felt's Third Album

If you are a fan of indie pop, post-punk, or jangle pop, you may have heard of Felt, a cult band from England that released ten albums and ten singles in the 1980s. Felt's music was characterized by intricate guitar work, poetic lyrics, and a distinctive aesthetic that set them apart from their contemporaries. One of their most acclaimed albums is The Strange Idols Pattern And Other Short Stories, their third release from 1984. In this article, we will review this album and explore its background, songs, reception, and legacy.

The Strange Idols Pattern And Other Short Stories Rar

The Background: How Felt evolved their sound and worked with producer John Leckie

Felt was formed in 1979 by Lawrence Hayward, who simply went by Lawrence, and Maurice Deebank, who played guitar. The band's name was inspired by Tom Verlaine's remark that he wanted to make music that "felt" rather than sounded. Felt's first two albums, Crumbling the Antiseptic Beauty (1982) and The Splendour of Fear (1984), were sparse, atmospheric, and melancholic, featuring mostly instrumental tracks and Lawrence's whispered vocals. The band also released several singles that showcased their poppier side, such as "Penelope Tree" and "My Face Is on Fire".

For their third album, Felt decided to make a radical change in their sound and production. They hired John Leckie, who had worked with bands like Pink Floyd, XTC, and The Fall, to produce the album. Leckie helped Felt achieve a richer, fuller, and more dynamic sound, with layered arrangements, confident vocals, and a limber rhythm section. The band also reduced the number of instrumentals to three, giving more space to Lawrence's songs. The result was a stunning leap forward for Felt, who delivered their first masterpiece.

The Songs: A track-by-track analysis of the album's highlights and themes

The Strange Idols Pattern And Other Short Stories consists of ten tracks that combine Felt's trademark guitar work with catchy melodies, lyrical depth, and emotional power. Here is a brief overview of each song:

  • Roman Litter: The opening track sets the tone for the album with its driving bass line, shimmering guitars, and Lawrence's urgent vocals. The song is about escaping from a mundane life and finding adventure in exotic places.

  • Sempiternal Darkness: The first instrumental track showcases Deebank's intricate and expressive guitar playing over a dark and moody backdrop.

  • Spanish House: One of the most immediate and catchy songs on the album, Spanish House features a jangly guitar riff, a bouncy drum beat, and Lawrence's vocals that range from whispery to soaring. The song is about longing for a romantic getaway in a foreign land.

  • Imprint: The second instrumental track is a brief but beautiful interlude that highlights Deebank's delicate and melodic guitar work.

  • Sunlight Bathed the Golden Glow: The lead single from the album and one of Felt's most popular songs, Sunlight Bathed the Golden Glow is a perfect example of indie pop at its finest. The song has a sunny and uplifting melody, a catchy chorus, and Lawrence's poetic lyrics that evoke a sense of nostalgia and wonder.

  • Vasco Da Gama: The third and final instrumental track is a majestic and epic piece that showcases Deebank's virtuosic and adventurous guitar playing over a dramatic and sweeping orchestration.

  • Crucifix Heaven: A short but powerful song that contrasts a fast and furious guitar riff with Lawrence's calm and serene vocals. The song is about finding peace and salvation in a chaotic world.

  • Dismantled King Is Off the Throne: One of the most emotional and poignant songs on the album, Dismantled King Is Off the Throne features a haunting guitar melody, a slow and somber drum beat, and Lawrence's vocals that convey a sense of loss and despair. The song is about the end of a relationship and the feeling of being abandoned and betrayed.

  • Crystal Ball: A gorgeous and dreamy song that combines a sparkling guitar arpeggio, a gentle drum pattern, and Lawrence's vocals that express a hope for the future. The song is about looking for signs and guidance in life.

  • Whirlpool Vision of Shame: The closing track is a stunning finale that blends a swirling guitar riff, a pounding drum rhythm, and Lawrence's vocals that alternate between calm and frantic. The song is about facing one's fears and doubts and overcoming them.

The Reception: How the album was received by critics and fans at the time and later

The Strange Idols Pattern And Other Short Stories was released in October 1984 by Cherry Red Records, an independent label that gave Felt complete artistic freedom. The album received critical acclaim from music magazines like NME, Sound, and Melody Maker, who praised Felt's musical evolution, Leckie's production, and Lawrence's songwriting. The album also sold well for an indie release, reaching number 10 on the UK Indie Chart. However, Felt did not achieve mainstream success or recognition, as they were overshadowed by bigger bands like The Smiths, Echo & the Bunnymen, and The Cure.

Over the years, The Strange Idols Pattern And Other Short Stories has gained a cult following among fans of indie pop, post-punk, and jangle pop. The album has been reissued several times on CD, vinyl, and digital formats, with remastered sound and bonus tracks. The album has also been cited as an influence by bands like Belle & Sebastian, Teenage Fanclub, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, and Real Estate. In 2018, Pitchfork ranked the album at number 16 on their list of "The 30 Best Dream Pop Albums".

The Legacy: How the album influenced other bands and genres and its place in Felt's discography

The Strange Idols Pattern And Other Short Stories is widely regarded as one of Felt's best albums and one of the finest examples of indie pop in the 1980s. The album showcases Felt's unique blend of guitar virtuosity, lyrical poetry, and pop sensibility. The album also marks Felt's transition from a minimalist and atmospheric sound to a more vibrant and dynamic one. The album influenced many bands and genres that followed, such as dream pop, shoegaze, indie rock, twee pop, C86, and lo-fi.

Felt continued to release albums throughout the 1980s, each one with a different sound and style. Some of their other notable albums include Ignite the Seven Cannons (1985), which featured Cocteau Twins' Robin Guthrie as producer; Forever Breathes the Lonely Word (1986), which was their first album without Deebank; Poem of the River (1987), which was their shortest and most cohesive album; Train Above the City (1988), which was an instrumental jazz album; Me And A Monkey On The Moon (1989), which was their final album before disbanding. Felt's discography is considered one of the most consistent and original in indie music history. 71b2f0854b


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