7. Kate Jackson - Wonder Feeling
I've talked before about how I consider The Long Blondes to be one of the last truly great indie bands, their career cut short when guitarist and songwriter Dorian Cox had a stroke in 2008.
Since then, there's been much talk of the band's lead singer, Kate Jackson (not the one from Charlie's Angels) writing new material with ex-Suede guitarist Bernard Butler. After a few years in which most of her time has been spent in Paris on her alternative career as a visual artist, Jackson's debut album was finally released earlier this year.
I have to admit that a lot of my old Britpop heroes have been rather disappointing me lately. I've hungrily sought out the new albums by Suede, James and Richard Ashcroft this year, and although they sounded exactly like I'd have expected them to, and will satisfy many longtime fans, I was starting to fear my own tastes had moved on. But Jackson's album has surprised me. Even though she herself comes from the post-Britpop era - The Long Blondes were formed in 2003 - this is a record that stands up well with the best of the female-led guitar bands of that era (think Elastica, Sleeper, Lush, et al.) while Jackson's voice remains as powerful and provocative as it was on the best of the Long Blondes records. The Britpop sound makes sense - after all, Bernard Butler was central to the evolution of that scene, while Jackson herself would have been 16 at its height. However, there's something refreshing as well as nostalgic about this album that sets it apart from many of the old lags still proudly flying the Britpop flag. Here's hoping we don't have to wait too long for Jackson's next record.
There's a girl who used to sit and read
One day a boy fell at her feet
He watched her dance made her a tape
Said he thought that her eyes were great
On the bus and in the park
In each others bedrooms after dark
Their dreams are real
I know exactly how they feel
Kate Jackson - Wonder Feeling from Spinning Arrow Productions on Vimeo.