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The Earlies

2005 Year-End Artist Survey

Jan 01, 2006 Photography by Andy Willsher The Earlies
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John Mark Lapham
The Earlies

Top Ten Albums of 2005

(I know you wanted these in order, but really the sequence they’re in is of little significance.)

1. Gavouna: Stings and Dum Machines - A very original and exciting record. He needs to be bigger.
2. Micah P. Hinson: Baby and the Satellite -I’ve loved this mini album since it’s demo days, a classic.
3. Magnetophone: The Man Who Ate the Man- A Birmingham band with a lot of potential. This album is very good!
4. Soft Machine: Out-Bloody-Rageous (anthology) - This collection has opened me to Wyatt and the Gang - very inspirational.
5. Dungen: Ta Det Lugnt - One of the best ‘new’ albums I’ve heard in awhile. Very good!
6. Animal Collective: Feels - I love this band. Saw them live recently and was sufficiently blown away!
7. Sigur Ros: Takk - A very unique band who make very unique, if not beautiful, music. Thanks.
8. Broadcast: Tender Buttons - One of my current favorite bands. They always up the game with each release.
9. Vashti Bunyan: Another Diamond Day (re-issue) – I’ve only just caught on to Vashti recently. A very beautiful and other-worldly record.
10. Kate Bush: Aerial - So pleased Kate has re-surfaced. I kept my expectations low but this is a fantastic album.

What was the highlight of 2005 for either you personally or for the band?

I would have to say starting work on the next Earlies long player.

What was the low point of 2005 for you?

I hate to sound too cheery, but it’s been a pretty good year. I can’t tarnish it with a negative.

What are your hopes and plans for 2006?

Keeping very busy with Earlies and other music endeavors. Finishing The Earlies’ new album will be most pleasing. Receiving a general feeling of satisfaction and contentment is the most I could really ever ask for.

If you could drop a copy of one album in the mailbox of every American citizen, what album would it be?

Damn no originality - These Were The Earlies, of course.

Will the iPod, and its ability to combine all genres and its emphasis on individual songs, render the album format irrelevant?

No, I don’t think so. I mean, they swore vinyl would be dead within a short time in the early ‘80s. I think even with the rise of digital music buffets, there are so many people who appreciate the story/narrative the artist intended through the tracks of an album, plus the art/packaging as well. There will always be two camps for the end product, I think.

With Kate Bush, Gang of Four, Ray Davies, Scott Walker, and others issuing new releases, what icon needs to return and make another album?

Hmm, that’s a toughy. I think we’re doing pretty well with classic artists (don’t forget Vashti Bunyan). However, if I had to choose one, I would definitely go with Liz Fraser.

With the mainstream success of artists like Modest Mouse, Death Cab for Cutie, Bright Eyes, The White Stripes, and Franz Ferdinand, has the meaning of “indie rock” shifted? Has the term lost all meaning?

Hmm, I’m not a good one to ask on the indie front. I really hate that term, to be honest, I think long ago it meant ‘independent’ regardless of the style of music. Now it seems to have this whiney, student rock connotation that has really limited the definition. I’ve never really bought anything that was referred to as an indie record. Er, so that’s my answer.

If you couldn’t be a musician, what other profession do you think that you’d enjoy and why?

Filmmaker, book writer, sound editor, graphic designer, pillow maker. Most of these I have done to some extent before and will come back to them at some point again, so it’s an easy question.


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