One listen to Veronica Falls’ sophomore album Waiting For Something To Happen and it’s clear that the band knows both their reference points — Johnny Marr jangle, Lush reverb — and what to do with them. Like any indie-pop group worth their rare colored vinyl, Veronica Falls are as much a coalition of amateur underground rock academics as they are a music-making entity. We decided to celebrate the release of Waiting by asking them to talk about their favorite follow-up records of all time.
Patrick Doyle, drummer
I first heard The Soft Boys in a club in Glasgow, where the DJ blasted "I Wanna Destroy You." They sounded like a pissed-off Beach Boys. Needless to say, I bought the album the next day. Making an album in 1980 that sounds like an angst-ridden incarnation of the Byrds might not have been the coolest thing at the time, but Underwater Moonlight's wit and effortless use of its influences still seems like the last word in cool. The great thing about collecting records is that just when you think you've heard it all, an album like this comes along and you wonder how you ever got by without it. If Roger McGuinn and Brian Jones had a son, his name would be Robyn Hitchcock and Underwater Moonlight would be their favorite grandchild.
Marion Herbain, bassist
I think the quintessential Englishness of this album appealed to me a lot at the time. I also like how different it sounds from the two albums that immediately surround it — which I think shows how tricky second albums can be for a band.
Roxanne Clifford, singer-guitarist
I felt like this album found me when I came across it in a record shop as a teenager. I had no idea who The Feelies were or what they would sound like, but the sleeve stood out as something I might like. After listening to "On the Roof" for 30 seconds, I fell in love and bought it. I like how primal and bold their debut album, Crazy Rhythms, is, but The Good Earth will always have a special place in my heart for its subtlety and relaxed brilliance. The vocals sound like whispers from a distant conversation that draw you in, and the guitars and percussion feel like they're playing from the corner of the room. The Feelies had less to prove on this record, and it's all the better for it.
James Hoare, singer-guitarist
By the time the Zombies' second album was released they'd split up, and with virtually no money behind it, Odessey sold very poorly. It seems almost impossible now to listen to the record and not hear a classic album with huge potential, both critically and financially.
Why the record label didn't realize this at the time is a mystery — although the incredibly high standard of rock and pop music at that time could explain why it would go unnoticed. The band had a surprise US hit single with "Time of the Season," but initially the album wasn't available and [by the time it was], it was too little too late. It's clear, timeless production, interesting arrangements and, above all, brilliant songwriting, have thankfully earned it a place in history, and these days, it's regarded as a masterpiece.