Monday, May 25, 2015
Butterglory Wait For Me Merge 1995
This is both early Merge Records and early Butterglory. It's almost hard to believe that given Merge's current roster with the likes of Arcade Fire, that Butterglory would be on the label if they came out today. The release itself is number 84 on Merge's catalog. It's so simple and a far way away from the label's current glossy looks. The sleeve is just a folded over piece of paper that's screen pressed. The two 7"s included though, they were pressed on virgin vinyl, which in 1995, might have been the only option considering record plants were becoming fewer and fewer, but, let's just call it the early-era of Merge quality.
This release lists Visalia, California as home to Butterglory, so it pre-dates their dominance on the Lawrence Lo-Fi scene (which, never really existed, but you know). The formula was still the same back then for the band. Matt Suggs and Debbie Vander Wall cutting out some clever lo-fi pop tunes with some help from whoever was willing. They sound a lot like Pavement without the unexpected blasts of guitar and feedback. There are other elements, Debbie's plaintive vocals give the tunes a Moe Tucker Velvets feel. And Suggs is a witty songwriter, just at this time, pretty enamored by the lo-fi scene. All four songs are worth owning, even if you're not a completest, the EP is worth picking up if you happen upon it.
And, maybe Merge would still take a chance on Matt and Debbie's lazy brand of pop music. The label has certainly supported Matt Suggs throughout his career. They've also championed their back catalog recently so maybe a Butterglory retrospective is in order soon. (Would also be sweet to have that White Whale LP and Suggs' solo efforts on vinyl).