The Sundays — static & silence (1997)

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Poll Results

Summertime 8
Monochrome 6
Cry 3
She 2
Another Flavour 1
Leave This City 1
Your Eyes 1
Folk Song 0
When I'm Thinking About You 0
Homeward 0
I Can't Wait 0

''i am the kanye west kanye west thinks he is.'' (Austin), Thursday, 20 April 2023 02:29 (one month ago) link

fuck the haters.

''i am the kanye west kanye west thinks he is.'' (Austin), Thursday, 20 April 2023 02:30 (one month ago) link

oh yeah, i guess you can do a write-in for "so much" if you want.

(dunno why you would when "monochrome" exists, but you do you.)

''i am the kanye west kanye west thinks he is.'' (Austin), Thursday, 20 April 2023 02:35 (one month ago) link

Gee, "So Much" is... quite good. Never heard (of) that before.

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Thursday, 20 April 2023 02:50 (one month ago) link

yeah, was kinda being flippant. i followed the og british tracklist. maybe i shouldn't have.

my main argument with this poll is that this album has aged w o n d e r f u l l y.

''i am the kanye west kanye west thinks he is.'' (Austin), Thursday, 20 April 2023 03:00 (one month ago) link

I shall devote some fairly serious listening time to this. I never heard S+S anywhere near as much as the first two longplayers at the time.

Fun fact: "Summertime" has become a seasonal promotional jingle here over the last few summers, unfairly tainting it somewhat.

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Thursday, 20 April 2023 03:19 (one month ago) link

This is a brilliant album. I think I've always been most partial to "Summertime", "Homeward", "She" and "Monochrome", with the gorgeous guitar in the chorus of "She" probably pushing it over the edge for me.

Tim F, Thursday, 20 April 2023 15:29 (one month ago) link

four weeks pass...

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Friday, 19 May 2023 00:01 (two weeks ago) link


my beard exists more than i do. (Austin), Friday, 19 May 2023 01:23 (two weeks ago) link

I just don't know this album, I planned on playing it while this poll is open but forgot. Will try and play it tomorrow before it closes.

Bee OK, Friday, 19 May 2023 03:44 (two weeks ago) link

I played it and wasn’t too into it, sorry (was a big fan of the other two in h.s.)

Unidentified rogue Jedi (morrisp), Friday, 19 May 2023 03:53 (two weeks ago) link

Probably either "Folk Song" or "She" for me at this point. If only for the sheer lush-ear-candy-ness of the arrangements!

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Friday, 19 May 2023 06:06 (two weeks ago) link

A sweet and solid album. You couldn't hope for more from songs titled 'Summertime' and 'Cry' - voting for the latter. She & Leave This City my other two faves.

ledge, Friday, 19 May 2023 08:32 (two weeks ago) link

Welp, mine will probably be the sole vote for 'Another Flavour'. Because it's been a very long time since I listened and turns out it's not the song I was thinking of. Oops.

My recollection is that this is a pretty good album but not a great Sundays album. They were maybe my actual favorite band for a very long time on the basis of their first two albums, though. Perhaps I should give this a contemporary listen.

Beautiful Bean Footage Fetishist (Old Lunch), Friday, 19 May 2023 09:55 (two weeks ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Saturday, 20 May 2023 00:01 (one week ago) link

good turnout - thanks everyone for voting!

not what i voted for, but glad it won so i can post this live performance from november of 96; surely one of their last ever gigs-

my beard exists more than i do. (Austin), Saturday, 20 May 2023 00:20 (one week ago) link

whoops that's november of 97!

my beard exists more than i do. (Austin), Saturday, 20 May 2023 00:21 (one week ago) link

Would have voted Leave

calstars, Saturday, 20 May 2023 00:27 (one week ago) link

and for a highly concentrated nostalgia hit, here they are on top of the tops!

my beard exists more than i do. (Austin), Saturday, 20 May 2023 00:46 (one week ago) link


calstars, Saturday, 20 May 2023 00:49 (one week ago) link

the biggest of swoons

my beard exists more than i do. (Austin), Saturday, 20 May 2023 00:50 (one week ago) link

I love "Another Flavour," which is an utter bop, beat wise. I remember it sounding a little harder than their normal sound. And the vocal is coolly snarky.

But "Summertime" is also fun - horn hits, and Harriet just goes someplace utterly charming on the line "sunshine banishes the daaaaark."

I loved this record quite a lot even though it doesn't quite equal the debut in terms of consistent song quality. Blind is third.

she works hard for the monkey (Ye Mad Puffin), Saturday, 20 May 2023 00:57 (one week ago) link

Also I have no idea how they got such a polished sound, right from the outset, at a time when it was very easy to sound garagey. The Sundays NEVER sounded garagey.

Good production, sure. But that only gets you so far. I remember what recording technology was like in the 90s, and to get that level of polish generally required Fleetwood Mac-level budgets and loads of time.

They just make it look effortless, and I know it can't have been. Crisp drum sounds, layered guitars.

30 years on, even with digital everything and sampled everything, it would be tough to make that sound happen.

she works hard for the monkey (Ye Mad Puffin), Saturday, 20 May 2023 01:13 (one week ago) link

good insight, puffin. they were definitely one of the best sounding bands of the era. first album was produced by ray schulman, who also worked on some other very classic jangle albums of the time so that figures.

this album, maybe unexpectedly, has an engineering credit to nigel godrich!

my beard exists more than i do. (Austin), Saturday, 20 May 2023 01:27 (one week ago) link

did not expect to see a Telecaster in Gavurin’s hands there. The gleaming guitar sounds on all their albums are so intense, they kind of crowd my ears in a good way. It’s like the absolute maximum jangle just before it overloads.

assert (matttkkkk), Saturday, 20 May 2023 01:57 (one week ago) link

Blind is third

blind is my favourite! it was the first one I got, the debut wasn't on my radar at the time.

ledge, Saturday, 20 May 2023 07:08 (one week ago) link

I think I was at the Sundays Union Chapel show in the video upthread but I remember barely anything of it. What I do remember is waiting outside the church beforehand and watching someone do an incredibly bad job of trying to park their car, and when they got out it was David Baddiel.

Piedie Gimbel, Saturday, 20 May 2023 07:35 (one week ago) link

Summertime will always remind me of the summer I learned to drive. My instructor kindly left the radio on while he nipped into a shop for ciggies and there it was. Workington perhaps? Or maybe we’d made it all the way to Maryport. So I have some sympathy for Baddiel.

Michael Jones, Saturday, 20 May 2023 09:07 (one week ago) link

Agree with Matt - when I think of Gavurin's playing I used to think primarily of acoustic and hollow rhythm guitar. Which was unfair to him because he also has loads of really tasty electric leads ("Another Flavour" and "Goodbye" being among the standouts).

Kinda looks like the Union Chapel show had a second guitarist for at least some of it, yes? Of course Top of the Pops would have had a backing track. Still, even live they sounded amazing.

Those drums are so perfect you could be forgiven for suspecting that they were not acoustic.

she works hard for the monkey (Ye Mad Puffin), Saturday, 20 May 2023 14:52 (one week ago) link

Surely programmed in many cases? For all their virtues, a band with absolutely zero swing.

assert (matttkkkk), Saturday, 20 May 2023 21:09 (one week ago) link

Great piece about the debut:

assert (matttkkkk), Saturday, 20 May 2023 21:34 (one week ago) link

Matt yes that was my suspicion about the records, but then you can literally see Hannan in the live clips playing those perfectly fine 16th-note grooves, flawlessly.

The records could have been a combo of progrmmed patterns and Hannan playing with really good microphones and compressors. I don't know. Does it matter at this point? I don't know.

I haven't really thought about them from a perspective of "swing." For me it's about clarity and pure joy in her voice, plus the delicious guitars. It was a sound that worked at the time.

she works hard for the monkey (Ye Mad Puffin), Sunday, 21 May 2023 00:49 (one week ago) link

Oh totally, it was not a criticism, what they do works for me very well!

assert (matttkkkk), Sunday, 21 May 2023 05:04 (one week ago) link

"Summertime" was the single that introduced me to them, and I loved it, but I was nine years old at the time and I had no idea they weren't a "new" band in 1997 until that Xmas my parents picked up the debut for me as a gift. I bought the albums in consecutive order after falling in love with the debut and this was always my least favourite. It sounded too polished, too glossy, too conventional for my ears then.

It wasn't until I was a bit older I realised how wonderful this actually is. Some of the lyrics on this album are devastating, Wheeler's performances on this are incredible, and as puffin points out this is an immaculate sounding album. I missed this poll and I'm sad to see "When I'm Thinking About You" get zero votes, which is the rare thing of a song about contentment and comfort that doesn't sound smug or arrogant.

boxedjoy, Tuesday, 23 May 2023 09:45 (one week ago) link

Fine post, boxedjoy. Love "When I'm Thinking About You." I actively love pretty much all of these, to the extent that it's difficult to vote for one over another.

she works hard for the monkey (Ye Mad Puffin), Tuesday, 23 May 2023 09:53 (one week ago) link

I think as well this is an album that really only makes sense as an adult. What this album does is explore feelings in a way that only makes sense if you've had that experience of eg grief on "Cry," seeing a major news as history-in-the-making on "Mononchrome," the blissful contentment on "When I'm Thinking About You" etc

boxedjoy, Tuesday, 23 May 2023 10:00 (one week ago) link

Love "When I'm Thinking About You."

I actually hadn't replayed this before voting, but am doing so now. The choruses on this song are unbelievable, maybe the most beautiful thing they ever achieved.

assert (matttkkkk), Tuesday, 23 May 2023 21:53 (one week ago) link

Yeah it is a mark of how solid this album is that even all the zero vote songs are great. That moment in “Folk Song” when Wheeler unexpectedly extends the chorus and sings “watch it ‘til it dies, slow falling from the sky…”

Blind reminds me a bit of Blue Bell Knoll: gorgeous surfaces, but it’s like the band wasn’t terribly interested in writing songs per se (some of them are great songs anyway, but it’s as if the band was just in the habit of writing well rather than consciously aiming for it), and a lot of it kind of blurs together for me in a nice way.

By contrast, Static and Silence feels very composed (notwithstanding that some of the songs end quite suddenly, as if the band became impatient with whatever point they thought the song was making), like they carefully worked up each song, then sat down and considered what sort of arrangement would best complement the song’s vibe and give it a distinct air.

Tim F, Tuesday, 23 May 2023 21:56 (one week ago) link

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