This is always described as providing the background to many student bedrooms at the end of the 80s, in same way that their label-mates The Smiths were. But the Sundays' bright guitar pop was a lot more refreshing and innocent than the cynical old Smiths. Based around the couply songwriting duo of Harriet Wheeler and David Gavurin, they put out this fresh melody-filled debut and became instantly successful in the indie scene. Wheeler's soprano voice combines little-girl tones with an acrobatic control and range, delivering the songs' curiously reflective lyrics with an estuary English tint. I don't see this as "ethereal" music - the vocals are too piercing, and the crisp jangly guitars distinguish this from more dense and fuzzed-up stuff like the Cocteau Twins. It's closer to folk than indie shoe-gazing.
The poignant strummer "Here's Where the Story Ends" is the album's most well-known track, and well-deserved too. It was an inspired tasteful choice for a random chart-pop cover a few years later. "Can't Be Sure" and "My Finest Hour" also stand out - I love their inspired cute lyrics like "finding a pound on the underground".
August 3, 2004