Lloyd Cole – Period Piece
We’ve all got those artists that feel like our secret. The coulda-shoulda-woulda-been-huge-guys. The ones where you buy every record, even though none of your friends know who the hell they are.
Lloyd Cole is one of those for me. Despite a long career making melodic and literate pop/folk/rock (he’s been compared to Cohen, Morrissey and Dylan), he’s seemingly virtually-unknown in the US at this point.
The song up top is taken from one of two records he put out in 2013, Standards; the record has yet to be released in the US on physical media (though you can download it from his website).
I wasn’t crazy about “Period Piece” on first run-through but it grew on me, particularly after I realized “who” the song’s narrator is (I won’t spoil it for you).
I was perhaps inordinately-overjoyed to see Lloyd (we’re on a first-name basis, you see) get a name-check a few years ago from Scottish indie-poppers Camera Obscura:
Camera Obscura – Lloyd, I’m Ready to Be Heartbroken
The song they are referring to is one of his early greats, not least for working a recommendation to “read Norman Mailer, or get a new tailor” into the lyrics:
Lloyd Cole & The Commotions – Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken?
This came up on shuffle the other day – a warning to be cautious about emblazoning tributes to eternal love in ink on your skin:
Lloyd Cole & The Commotions – Jennifer She Said
The Boy likes this next one; it’s easy to see why, it’s got a snappy beat and a great rhythmic vocal performance (that motor-mouthed “I don’t need an alibi, I need a fire escape and an open window” is one of my favorite tongue-twisting lyrics to sing, ever. You only need to explain yourself if they catch you! Other fun lyrics: “meet me in the john, John” and “I’m your yes man, yes ma’am, I’m your yes man“)
But there’s no way to explain to a four-year-old that it’s essentially a “Just Say No to Cocaine” cautionary PSA:
Lloyd Cole & The Commotions – My Bag
Lloyd also made a collaborative ambient electronic record(!) with Cluster luminary Hans-Joachim Roedelius in 2013, who had heard and liked Cole’s electronic experiment Plastic Wood a few years back.
I think it’s quite soothing and lovely:
Lloyd Cole / Hans-Joachim Roedelius – Pastoral
Post your secret artists in comments!