Pleasantly surprised this morning to find out it's the 10th anniversary of one of my all time favourite albums from one of my all time favourite underrated bands: Broadcast's Tender Buttons. It's a very special album indeed, it's much more electronic focused than all their previous efforts, no doubt influenced by the departure of most of the bandmates, leaving Tender Buttons to be made with a skeleton crew of James Cargill and Trish Keenan.
There's plenty of albums that open strongly, but no matter how many times I look over Buttons' tracklist, I'm hard pressed to find a weak link throughout. The actual introduction track I Found The F does it's job perfectly, showing off the new electronic undercurrent in spectacular fashion.
Broadcast - I Found The F |HTML5|
It's not long before Broadcast's previous psychedelic-influenced streak begins to show through though with Black Cat. One of the tracks that were chosen for release from the album, not sure that it's the perfect choice for that given some of the later ones, but it is still fine.
Broadcast - Black Cat |HTML5|
The title track of the LP is very different from all we've heard so far, it plays out almost like a normal Broadcast song before the electronic accompaniment of this album. The real highlight here is the reason for the album's name: it takes it' title from a series of poems by Gertrude Stein which revolve around the rhythm of the words rather than traditional rhymes, which is also the case for some songs on the LP that Keenan delivers absolutely flawlessly, especially here.
Broadcast - Tender Buttons |HTML5|
I end the post on a rather significant point. America's Boy is the reason I discovered Broadcast many years ago on some music blog, and to this day I fall in love with it again when I hear that intro. I think it is one of the best constructed tracks here, and is also pretty good introduction to the overall sound on offer, showcasing the new and unique electronic aspects as well as Keenan herself in top form.
Broadcast - America's Boy |HTML5|
Broadcast remain one of my all time favourites, and even though their output was limited there hasn't been a single release of theirs that I haven't enjoyed. Unfortunately that limited list of releases will not be getting bigger anytime soon, owing to Trish Keenan's death in 2011. James Cargill has said he has some unreleased Broadcast material recorded before her death that he was preparing for release but there's been no developments on that front in some time. But until them I more than content with their discography up to now, and I hope the wait will not be much longer if this has been your introduction to them.
-Claude Van Foxbat