Pete Frame would have a field day with the family tree of Amelia Fletcher and John Pursey, whose history contains the DNA of Tallulah Gosh, Heavenly, Marine Research and Tender Trap, among others. Their latest project celebrates their relocation from London to the country, marked by a new name, the Catenary Wires, taken from a geometric term to describe the curves made by cables hanging under their own weight, as from pylons.
It also seems appropriate that they formed this band as a result of a Sarah Records celebration, as there’s a trace of that label’s fuzzy indiepop here but the teenage concerns of their earlier bands are now more mature worries about relationships. ‘Like A Fool’ deals with the lies we tell each other; ‘Things I Love’ lists the art and artists that are tainted when love breaks down, from ‘“Repetition” by the Fall’ to Tim Burton and “the indie clubs of Islington”. ‘Intravenous’ is melodic indiepop but the thought that “nothing lasts forever" adds a hint of bittersweet. On ‘Throw Another Love Song On The Fire’, Rob is part Stephin Merritt, part Lee Hazlewood as he turns his back on romantic music (“those songs were never any good/ they’re better off as kindling wood”) while on the sweetly arranged ‘The Records We Never Play’, Amelia sounds wistful like Hope Sandoval.
It’s a stripped down sound with just the two of them singing and playing, and the result is to lay emotions bare and vulnerable. Their songs are quite sad, quite delicate, and in the best traditions of Lee and Nancy, Jim and Hope, Serge and Brigitte, they’re most convincingly heartworn.