This here is another shoegaze band that I really loved back in the day (and still do), though I didn’t get into them until a few years after this particular track’s release. They were formed in 1987 when close friends Miki Berenyi and Emma Anderson (who were in other bands previously) joined Chris Acland’s band, Baby Machines. After bassist Steve Rippon joined the band, they changed their name to Lush and a year or so later, original vocalist Meriel Barham (later of Pale Saints) left the band and Berenyi to take over the duties at the mike. She was never confident in her vocal duties early on, however, which is why they were always buried so low in the mix, a hallmark of their early sound.
“De-Luxe” first appeared on the “Mad Love” EP, the second of three short discs released on 4AD from 1989 to 1990. All of these were then compiled at the end of 1990 into one full length release, called “Gala”, meant to introduce the band to North America prior to their proper debut the following year. It was on this latter release that I first heard the single, albeit probably four years later, by way of a tape made for me by my friend Tim. (Thanks again buddy.) For a while, it was the only tape I listened to on my commute between my tiny basement apartment in Vaughan, just north of Steeles Road (Toronto), to the campus at York University. Indeed, I’ll always think of skipping back and forth between my feet to keep warm, waiting for the blasted TTC bus when I hear it. So if this song has a season for me, it’s definitely winter.
And why not? It’s jangly and shimmering, like the pure sounds of ice crystals dancing on the harsh Canadian winter winds. The vocal harmonies of Anderson and Berenyi are high on the register, jingling bells just barely scratching through the surface of the frost on the bus windows in the dark of the morning. You can almost feel the slushy puddles you have to lightly step through to get to the bus doors, not wanting to get your adidas sneakers soaked, lest you have to sit uncomfortably through another philosophy lecture.
But I digress… enjoy the lovely tune.
For the rest of the Best tunes of 1990 list, click here.