Arthur Beatrice - 2016

Everybody’s got some favourite albums. Music that accompanied yourself through difficult times, records that acted like a friend when there was real one around. Whether it was the sound around the times of your first kiss or the starting point of your own attempts to take a deeper look into new musical territories. We all have this record somewhere in our hearts and private collections. In this ongoing series NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION lets the artist’s do the writing as they share their personal stories and feelings on their most loved record with us.

You don’t automatically have to travel back ages into pop music’s history to find your personal favourite record. British indie-pop four-piece ARTHUR BEATRICE only go eight years back in time as we give them the opportunity to talk about WILD BEASTS‘ debut album Limbo, Panto from 2008. The band itself is about to release their anticipated second studio album Keeping The Peace on May 27 and who knows – maybe they will one day inspire another group to write about their 2013 debut Working Out or the sophomore record as well.

Wild Beats – ‘Limbo, Panto’ (2008)

Wild Beats - Limbo Panto

How I got hold of it …

I bought the record in Rough trade on a trip to London, which was a pretty special thing to do for me at the time in itself. I had heard a couple of the early singles and when I saw the album in the shop I figured I couldn’t not get it. The train journey back to northampton where I lived was about an hour and I spent the whole time pouring over the thing, artwork, lyrics, everything about it was exciting and I hadn’t even heard any of the songs.

The special trigger

I put an early single of WILD BEASTS called Through Dark Night on my myspace page and all of my friends told me to take it off because they couldn’t stand it.

I’d listen to it over and over again, not being able to understand how it was so divisive. I spose that’s what got me into the idea of doing pop in an off kilter way.

Limbo, Panto was the first time I was able to see someone put a lyrical style into practise. I was 17, just beginning to write properly myself and was really impressed by how intensely worked the words were. Watching the band develop and mellow a bit in terms of these sorts of flourishes has been amazing, and something that it took me a while to work out with AB. Being clever and writing riddles isn’t going to give you the best results when it comes to honesty and writing songs that affect people.

The favourite tune

Probably His Grinning Skull. They were best known for The Devils Crayon and that was probably the best track for the time, but Grinning Skull was so weird with the pulsing piano. It didn’t really align with any of their more jangly indie contemporaries, which Devils Crayon sort of lumped them with. It felt really mature, and that was exciting, becasue I had no real knowledge of music that wasn’t overtly ‘youthful’ in one way or another.

Recommendable records beyond this one?

I think that it probably hasn’t aged as well as their later work will, but it’s so weird and wonderful that it’s always worth a go.

I still get that same bewilderment as the first time, and though it’s tinged with a bit of nostalgia now it remains an incredibly ambitious and daring record for a debut.

Most of WILD BEASTS‘ discography is pretty special, the latest record sounds like one that could only have been released in the last couple years, but has been around forever at the same time, which is no mean feat. Recently I’ve been listening to a load of bands that I was hearing at an even younger age like JEFF BUCKLEY and PORTISHEAD, who I discovered through skateboarding videos like Waiting For The World by Blueprint. I didn’t really appreciate how big a deal that stuff was at the time. We had a record called Monday Monday by THE MAMAS AND PAPAS on at the shop I work in the other day, and there was a song that came on called California Earthquake which I hadn’t heard since watching those videos at 14 years old with my mate Joel.