I've been trying to tell you
August 3, 2021 12:42 PM   Subscribe

Pond House [YouTube] is the first music to surface from the forthcoming release I've Been Trying to Tell You by English trio Saint Etienne: an album (their tenth) "made largely from samples and sounds drawn from the years 1997-2001, a period that was topped and tailed by Labour's election victory and the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers. Was the optimism of that era a lost golden age, or was it a period of naïvety, delusion and folly?" The album is accompanied by a short film [trailer @ YouTube] directed by Alasdair McLellan.
posted by misteraitch (9 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Was the optimism of that era a lost golden age, or was it a period of naïvety, delusion and folly?

Are those mutually exclusive options?
posted by gimonca at 1:45 PM on August 3, 2021 [2 favorites]

love Saint Etienne
posted by roger ackroyd at 3:30 PM on August 3, 2021

'97-'01 also happened to be the prime years I was in the thick of attempting to launch my own music career (speaking of naïveté, delusion, and folly), and I was a huge St. Et fan at the time ... so the multiple personal resonances of this project are highly appealing. I'd never turn down a new record from them in any case.
posted by mykescipark at 5:24 PM on August 3, 2021 [2 favorites]

Are those mutually exclusive options?

I suspect optimism will come to be thought of as a word like unique -- something you don't qualify. It means what it means. And part of that meaning is inherent naivety, delusion, folly. Hope on the other hand doesn't need to be any of those things.

I listened to most of my St. Etienne back in the earlier 1990s. A track like Like The Swallow -- that always gives me hope.
posted by philip-random at 6:35 PM on August 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

I love their song I Was Born On Christmas Day, which I learned of from this Metafilter post, which gave birth to playlist I plan to force on my family annually for as long as YouTube is free.
posted by vorpal bunny at 8:51 PM on August 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

It's funny to see people in the comments of the Pond House video (I know, never read the comments) suggesting this is somehow out of touch with what Saint Etienne normally do, when you can easily find languid instrumentals like this scattered across the b-sides of their early albums.

I'm not one to read or obsess over lyrics, so I'm not entirely sure this fits thematically, but Finisterre always felt to me like an album concerned with the late 90s as well. Obviously, a lot fresher in their minds back then, but still conflicted about the London they thought they knew and the London that actually existed at the turn of the century. All these years later, I think it's still my favourite album of theirs.
posted by chrominance at 10:20 PM on August 3, 2021

It's interesting to see the 90s End Of History era displace the Swinging 60s as a lost golden age just out of clear memory.
posted by acb at 1:11 AM on August 4, 2021 [2 favorites]

The video looks interesting - like a millenial take on Robinson in Space. Finnistere (the film) was inspired by London after all.
posted by treblekicker at 5:41 AM on August 4, 2021

Pre-ordered it and looking forward to giving I've Been Trying to Tell You a spin! I'll never give up on Saint Etienne, but the last thing I really loved from them was Tales from Turnpike House in 2005. The last couple albums just didn't click for me. Of course they've been doing boatloads of other stuff... the reissues, Foxbase Beta (which is amazing), two or three film soundtracks, and all those compilations of classic pop.
posted by lefty lucky cat at 11:45 AM on August 4, 2021

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