Happy holidays, Reader! NerdBait would like to convey our warmest winter wishes in musical form:
What’s going on in that you ask? Well, let The Prof explain….
New Music from our Archival Project
Hi Friends of NerdBait!
Hope you are enjoying the holiday season wherever you are. NerdBait is working on a christmas song which we may get out before the holidays, perhaps in the genre of “terrible British holiday songs that pop bands half heartedly get out before the holidays”. Should be fun! Stay tuned. (In an homage to Nerd Bait’s heroes in Bird’s Fade, this didn’t quite come to pass – Ed.)
But we wanted to share another project we’ve been up to.
Ricky has written, first on his blog, and later in various other publications, about the experience of meeting Susanne Whyte, the vocalist from the early 90s Edinburgh-based shoegazers Bird’s Fate. Ricky, of course, loved the band back then. The story of their long passive decline into a vanished act is a good read. The group, Susanne with her two collaborators, was a great example of localized depressive 90s pop.
They never really made it to the States, but it turns out I had heard them because, oddly, Robert Fripp cited them as an example of unacceptable musical imprecision in an article I was reading in Modern Progressive Bassist. So I ran out and was lucky to find an imported bootleg cassette in Ithaca, since lost to my various moves.
When NerdBait came together, Ricky and I learned that we had this shared influence, but Stephanie hadn’t heard the group.
So off we went to find some recordings, but they were totally out of print. Ricky scoured Edinburgh and was able to dig up an old vinyl of That’s What Scots Call Music 5 (I think?), which had a copy of Kaleidoscope from the Kaleidoscope EP on it. The record wasn’t in great shape, but between us, we were able to digitize it, and once that was done, I sucked it into Logic and cleaned it up. We ended up with a pretty good sounding remaster of the track.
We liked it enough to make it the last track of this summer’s Greatest Hits Volume 6, but since we shipped exactly zero copies of the record, you probably didn’t notice. So we’ve uploaded it to our soundcloud!
But – and this is really exciting for archivists everywhere – in the pre-christmas rush in Edinburgh, Ricky also found a 90s holiday charity album by Scottish pop musicians. And right there was another Bird’s Fate song – a cover of Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You. We did the same rigamarole – try and get it into reasonable digital shape – and also uploaded it this week.
Wow. This is a really odd cover. Some of you may, we suspect, think this is their favorite Christmas song ever.
The gloom is just so oppressive. When I previewed it for Stephanie, she was surprised.
I didn’t think Susanne could sing that many distinct words in a song!
But somehow it all sort of works!
In any event, we’re really happy to be able to find these tracks, clean them up as best we can, and share them with you!
Happy holidays, and thanks for listening,
The Prof, Science Steph, and Wurdz Boi