NORTHERN PICTURE LIBRARY Alaska (Vinyl Japan)
Speaking of spiritual descendants, Northern Picture Library are the offspring of the late lamented Field Mice, a band so fey and wispy they made Kate Bush look like Napalm Death. Despite vowing never to strum a guitar in public ever again, two of their number have reformed, with additional musicians, as Northern Picture Library...and nothing's changed. Musically they're still a Saint Etienne too self-conscious to dance, and the lyrics still concern love, requited and (mostly) unrequited...if the following example, culled from "Truly Madly Deeply", doesn't make you ill then it's safe to proceed: "Once I made you sad when I mentioned I had/Spent some time the night before reading old letters/Once I apologised and gave you flowers that were the colour of your eyes". Yeouch. However, despite being a heartless old cynic I love this album, down to its last slightly dubby bassline and lightly frosted instrumental.