Every now and again, I like to pull an old mix CD off the shelf and see if it has held up with the passage of time. Invariably, certain songs fall flat, while others resonate and reward all over again. For me, at least, the three tunes below fit comfortably in the latter camp.
Alex Lloyd is an Australian singer-songwriter. "Green" is a lush little charmer with chiming guitars that reference mid-period R.E.M. more than the Smiths. There are also some happy-yet-melodramatic strings that might scare a few hardcore indie enthusiasts away, but screw those snobs. This one would give Kermit a peaceful, easy feeling.
Crash Vegas was a Canadian outfit featuring Michelle McAdorey on vocals and one or two members of Blue Rodeo. I heard the song "On and On (Lodestar)" in the summer of '95 or '96 on Canadian radio (just across the river from Detroit). I instantly fell in love with this haunting and autumnal tune. The mood? Think: "California Dreamin'."
The Frames are an Irish outfit that's been kicking around since 1991. I don't think they're particularly well-known in the States, but "Pavement Tune" deserves more than a little international attention. Blissfully simple, it's basically one big hook. Irresistible.
[MP3] [left-click] Alex Lloyd/"Green"
[MP3] [left-click] Crash Vegas/"On and On (Lodestar)"
[MP3] [left-click] The Frames/"Pavement Tune"