“SONG FOR EWE”
with LOUISE TREHY of
“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day.
Today it’s half of a band who I originally reviewed back in the original times of the fanzine back in the early 90s, who released an ace record called “Blow” on the sublime 4AD label, but whose (mazzy) star faded before they could truly reach the rarefied outer atmosphere. Their sounds were lush, ethereal, all those over used shoe gaze terms, but cutting through it all was the glacial beauty of this lady’s voice. Not only that but she helped launched the label Setanta, who also put out loads of records I reviewed back in the heady daze (including A House & Divine Comedy). She was away from music and now she’s back, making hyperreal and ethereal, and really good dream pop again. And not only that but her band Swallow has been immortalised on the forthcoming Shoegaze compilation on Cherry Red Records. Ladies & Gentlemen of space, it’s Louise Trehy!
Swallow’s album “Blow” pictured above with its Vaughan Oliver artwork was a hidden gem that I remember listening to in my old basement room of my parents’ house in Gravesend. Laying on the bed, listening to a promo CD, staring at the artex-ed ceiling and being hypnotised by its plaster twirls and the dreamy swirls of music that was part Cocteau Twins part Spacemen 3, and unmistakably 4AD. Rarely did this label ever put out anything other than beautiful music, and I remember the review was favourable (or better than that favourable plus). I must dig it out from the loft!
I was pleased to find Louise on Facebook. It reminded me of the band, and of those halcyon days. Swallow went down well, but unfortunately disappeared into the ether they so wistfully inhabited before they could release more records. They were making a follow up on Rough Trade but the funding dried up and the band were left floundering.
After a while out of music, Louise returned, signing to Saint Marie Records in Texas, and working as one half of a new band Strata Florida released a record called “Made of Stars” in 2014.
Here’s some of her latest oeuvre to savour:
I got in touch with Louise, and shortly after she kindly sent me her “song for ewe”, she announced that Swallow’s song “Sugar Your Mind” is part of the five disc Cherry Red bible to shoegaze – “Still In A Dream: A Story Of Shoegaze 1988-1995” alongside such luminaries as Loop, Jesus & Mary Chain, Pale Saints, Ride, Lush, Galaxie 500, Curve, The Cocteau Twins and Th’Faith Healers. It made me laugh to see her comment “Swallow have a track on this and as a result I have signed a publishing deal with Cherry Red Publishing (for all my music offerings!) which means I am alongside the fabulous Lawrence of FELT. Yay!”
Louise’s place in the dream pop pantheon is assured, but also heartily deserved and I’m pleased to make her acquaintance and to add her to my “song for ewe” roll of honour.
We may have lost quite a few musical heroes in the last month, but Louise has chosen one that went under the radar, a true C86 ledge from Cork via London’s answer to Beefheart. Her choice made me spend some of the xmas money from my sister in law on their recent comp “Does The Fish Have Chips”…so without further ado…
IT’S OVER TO LOUISE:
“Hi Nick, has to be Stump “Buffalo” as I’ve been listening since I heard Mick Lynch died before Christmas.
They weren’t really obscure I think this was in the charts though it’s hard to imagine a song like this getting in the charts today.
Probably influenced by Five Go Down To the Sea, and definitely Captain Beefheart. All bands from Cork were completely mad, but very original.”
THANKS MUCHLY TO LOUISE!