The Popstream: Broadcast, "Come On Let's Go"


They're not exactly forgotten, but more than a decade after one of their songs was used in an Austin Powers movie and eight years after their debut full-length The Noise Made By People dropped on Warp to wide acclaim, Birmingham, UK-stationed psych-pop group Broadcast have receded a bit into the background. Their last album of new material, Tender Buttons, was pretty well-received, but it came out in 2005, and that appears to be the last time they've put out anything new. (Their most recent release, 2006's Future Crayons, was a rarities-and-b-sides deal, which is usually a good sign of a band realizing how far they are from releasing a new album and scrambling for a stopgap.) So how about a reminder -- or maybe a first-time heads-up -- on why they're worth listening to?

"Come On Let's Go", from The Noise Made By People, is one of their best songs -- though it does come from an album that's just about front-to-back flawless. Aside from focusing on the eerie, delicate otherworldliness of singer Trish Keenan's voice, it's a bit hard to describe the specifics of Broadcast's sound without invoking other bands that they either don't necessarily sound like entirely (Stereolab) or bands that, while direct influences, are obscure enough to ring approximately zero bells for most people (late '60s electronic pop pioneers the United States of America). I like to say they're the kind of band people in 1968 thought we'd be listening to at the dawn of the 21st century, even though the people of 1968 have a pretty mediocre track record when it comes to predicting our era. (Commercial space flights are far enough out of the question; holding them on a now-bankrupt Pan Am is just silly. Sorry, Mister Kubrick.) And the video's an interesting experiment -- it looks kind of like the videotape from Ringu re-edited by Stan Brakhage, but more mysterious and exotic than creepy.


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