Do you remember the DIY, often self-pressed pop, that Peel used to play, lo on the fi but high on charm and personality? Dandelion Radio does, and the station inspired by the Peel ethos (even to the extent of continuing the Festive Fifty), has released a selection of tunes that represent the more idiosyncratic corners of indiepop. From Cohen-esque folk (Alisia Casper) to menacing sample-heavy electronica (Dilworth), the tracklisting represents a wealth of bedroom industry.
The Lovely Eggs, as ever, stand out; their ‘I Like Birds But I like Other Animals Too’ is sweet but heavy, the White Stripes reconfigured as Play School presenters. Hazel Winter’s bastardised version of Jolene (‘Codeine’) is a hymn to the opiated charm of the painkiller and though it’s a bit long it survives the musical comedy test with its John Cooper Clarke witticisms. The Isle of Man’s Chasms impress too with their screaming tones of sculpted noise; the heavy post-punk beat is overlaid with tortured guitars, sounding like Public Image Ltd, and Sonic Youth at their gnarliest.
It’s quite hard to know where to start with The Dust Collectors though; ‘Retro-Spective’ combines violin and brass in a sort of folky-tropicalia groove, then spins off into some parallel world of jazz-punk. It’s strange but compelling and it’s curiously comforting to know that people are making such visionary weirdness and others are compelled to play it. And it sums up Dandelion Radio’s Peel-esque vision to give an outlet for songs a bit too strange even for most independent radio. Dandelion Radio is a cause well worth supporting, with an album that’s well worth hearing, and all for only six quid or so.