It is with much sadness that I’m reporting that one of my favorite bands, The Long Blondes, announced their breakup yesterday. Over the last four years they’ve put out a two albums and a ton of singles, the wonderful qualities of which can not be overstated. Wonderful melodies, catchy choruses, lots of spoken bits in the middle of songs, and a lead singer with a beret fixation. Also, their first album was produced by somebody from Pulp.
I particularly loved how provincial they were; they sang about things American audiences would never understand, like All Bar One and dual carriageways and the smoke from the sugar beet refining factory in Bury St Edmonds. Even early-nineties Blur didn’t go quite that far.
But maybe best of all, their fourteen singles all had actual b-sides, many of which were better than the a-sides. Seriously, you’re dead inside if you don’t go nuts when Fulwood Babylon comes on. There’s not another band in the last few years who have made me so consistently enthusiastic with every single song they’ve put out. Really, I probably haven’t been that giddy about a band since I discovered Belle and Sebastian in high school.
Sadly, the cause of their breakup was a paralyzing stroke suffered by guitarist Dorian Cox. That is, probably, the most frustrating reason I could possibly think of for such a wonderful band to break up. (On the bright side, though, apparently singer Kate Jackson’s already planning a solo career.)
After the jump, six of their best singles:
Separated By Motorways:
Once and Never Again: