Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Motifs

The Motifs have created a magical world where songs are jingles, two minutes equals an epic, melodies haunt reveries, handclaps are to the fore and lyrical content features paper boats, envelopes and umlauts (“the dots above your name”). I wouldn’t be at all surprised to discover at some later date that The Motifs had, in fact, been brought to us by the Children’s Television Workshop and the letters P-O-P.

Contemporary comparisons are most obviously Broadcast’s spectral analogue electronics and Camera Obscura’s easy pop gift refracted through Beat Happening’s simple formula of underground growl and sunshine-laden tunes found on Black Candy.

More particularly, however, The Motifs’ refreshing naivety had me reaching for those old Trixie’s Big Red Motorbike records for the first time in years (“Trixie’s Big Red Motorbike they make you feel happy/Trixie’s Big Red Motorbike your feet become tappy”) as well as the Marine Girls for their DIY harmonic guile and magnificent teenage solipsism (remember how Flying Over Russia compared living under communism’s unflinching rule with having to do what you’re told by your parents?).

You can also hear Dolly Mixture’s snappy approximation of punk’s teenage dreams and 60s girl group wonder in Melbourne’s The Motifs, who in their simply charming take on DIY pop sound right now like the best thing in the world to be listening to.

7 comments:

richpassivity said...

This lot sound great.
By the way, it is way overdue for a DOLLY MIXTURE CD discograhy!

FireEscape said...

There's been a three(!) CD boxset of Dolly Mixture in the pipeline for about 5 years now, intended to contain absolutely everything. Gawd knows when it's coming out.

richpassivity said...

Wow! Who was/is meant to be doing that?

I saw the article in 'The Observer' at the weekend about Bob Stanley's 'Pop Mavericks' film festival at the Barbican which mentioned both DOLLY MIXTURE & also FELT.

FireEscape said...

I think it's a Japanese label. Don't hold your breath as this "project" has been dragging on for years...
I saw the
Pop Mavericks article in the Guardian but I don't remember any mention of Felt...

richpassivity said...

Ah right.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2008/aug/24/popandrock?gusrc=rss&feed=culture

Thought I was going mad so I looked it up here re: FELT!

FireEscape said...

Thanks. I've got a couple of songs by the Namelosers. They look like they recently escaped from a maximum security institution...

Dennis said...

Ah, The Motifs. Their LP just arrived last week. Beautifully handmade package... impossible not to love. I agree with the Trixie comparison, indeed. Lovely band, lovely record.