Helen Love: Songs From Under The Bed – Vol 2
Limited CDs and downloads
Helen Love’s latest collection of unreleased tracks drops this week on Songs From Under The Bed – Vol 2
The premise is simple, as Helen herself says, “10 would be, could have been, maybe should have been singles we stuck in a box under the bed, from the DayGlo Dreams album sessions from 2013 to Power On of 2020”.
What more can be said? Well maybe a lot. Helen got a lot of attention and applause this year with the wonderful album This Is My World, which is still firmly in my Top 10 of 2022 and unlikely to be ousted. Songs From Under The Bed Vol 2, which follows up on Songs From Under The Bed last year; is a nice juxtaposition and gives new fans new to the legendary Welsh Indie Band a sense of what came before and a push to delve into the extensive back catalog. It also rewards older/longtime fans with a few treats.
Without any irony, given the opening of The Day We Saw The Jam Play, hearing that this album was coming out, I was reminded that these were about to release their album Extras. It was a pleasure to hear the unreleased songs (maybe minus the demos and alternate versions). I understand that many bands will now open the coffers, or rather their marketing labels will, when there’s a 10th, 15th, 20th, 30th etc anniversary of a “classic album” but I’d rather a) not have to wait that long and b) not have to pay through the nose for a luxury box set.
With 10 songs in just 25 minutes (shortest 1:18, longest 3:18), Songs From Under The Bed Vol 2 is a series of short, high-pitched jerks that fit perfectly into Helen Love’s back catalog. These songs may be unreleased but nothing is below average. There are some brilliant rhyming verses throughout, as you’d expect, such as on the opening track, “I’m hanging out with my best friend Alice / Her favorite song was a town called Malice / She loved jam / She was a fan”. It’s so simple it’s genius.
As you’d expect, the music is driven by my drum machines and there are plenty of effects and samples as well as Helen wears her pop music culture influences on her sleeve. A favorite of mine is Space Girl, which takes Giorgio Moroder as a starting point, but Art School and Disco Machine would also do any Indie Disco credit. All in all, it’s just classic Helen Love with the band delivering upbeat, bubblegum pop while still managing to reminisce about days gone by; the Our Price in Swansea, for example, opened on July 2, 1985. There are so many good things about this release. If you’re an old fan or a new one, you’ll love it.
Helen Love will perform at The Lexington in London with support from Fightmilk and Adam Walton on June 10. Tickets available here
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All words by Iain Key. See its author Profile here author’s archive or on Twitter as @iainkey.