Saint Etienne - Home Counties

Double Album 2LP Black Vinyl + Digital Download

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Home Counties is the ninth studio album by English alternative dance band Saint Etienne, released in June 2017 by Heavenly Records.

The members of Saint Etinne began work on Home Counties with a basic concept in mind of paying tribute to the suburbs of London where the trio spent their formative years. It was recorded quickly with a room full of vintage gear and instruments, and thanks to that, is warm and inviting.

The production doesn't lean on machines, though they are certainly present. Instead, Sarah Cracknell's unfailingly cosy vocals are surrounded by guitars, vocal harmonies, and old keyboards in arrangements that take in swinging '60s sounds, sparkling '90s pop, and even a few that wouldn't sound out of place on 2017 pop radio. Throw in some lightly bouncy indie pop ("Train Drivers In Eyeliner"), wonderfully cheesy disco ("Dive"), stomping Northern soul ("Underneath The Apple Tree"), and melancholy baroque pop ("Take It All In"), and it makes for the band's most varied-sounding album and feels like the result of a working band getting together in the studio to play together.

Home Counties can be achingly nostalgic, and many of the songs have a sepia-toned sadness about them. The sound here usually matches the feeling, and it makes for the band's most emotionally affecting album. They are never going to be the type of group to spill blood in their lyrics, but songs like "What Kind Of World" and "After Hebden" have a deep impact.

Combining tear-stained words with sweet-as-pie melodies has been a trick the trio have pulled off with ease over their long career, and their skill hasn't deserted them yet. Even the catchy, lighthearted songs like "Magpie Eyes" have a melancholy core; so do the more modern-sounding tracks like the icy synth pop-informed "Heather".

With Home Counties, Pete Wiggs, Bob Stanley, and Sarah Cracknell have been making beautiful, fun, and deceptively tricky music for almost 30 years without a noticeable dip in quality. It may not be flashy, punchy or experimental but the album takes in elements of everything they've done along the way and repurposes it in a lovely, extremely satisfying fashion.

Check out the tracks: “Magpie Eyes”; “Angel Of Woodhatch” and “Dive”.

This Limited Edition double LP housed in a gatefold sleeve with hand placed stickers and digital download is pressed in Europe on black vinyl.

(5414939957048)

Tracklisting:

 

 

Title

Time

A1

The Reunion

0:22

A2

Something New

3:17

A3

Magpie Eyes

3:35

A4

Whytleafe

3:09

A5

Dive

4:49

B1

Church Pew Furniture Restorer

1:53

B2

Take It All In

3:25

B3

Popmaster

0:29

B4

Underneath The Apple Tree

2:35

B5

Out Of My Mind

3:58

C1

After Hebden

3:31

C2

Breakneck Hill

1:39

C3

Heather

3:58

C4

Sports Report

0:12

C5

Train Drivers In Eyeliner

3:17

C6

Unopened Fan Mail

3:04

D1

What Kind Of World

3:08

D2

Sweet Arcadia

7:44

D3

Angel Of Woodhatch

2:14

SKU 5414939957048
Record Label Heavenly Recordings
Label / Model # Inertia
Catalogue Number HVNLP139
Country EU - Europe
Release Date (Year) 02 June 2017
Original Release Date (Year) 02 June 2017
Barcode # 5414939957048
Shipping Weight 0.5550kg
Shipping Width 0.010m
Shipping Height 0.314m
Shipping Length 0.314m
Shipping Cubic 0.000986m3
Type New
Format Limited Edition Double Album 2LP Records, Black Vinyl, Gatefold Sleeve with Hand Placed Stickers, Printed Inner Sleeves, Digital Download Code
Vinyl Colour Black
Genre Rock
Genre Pop Rock
Genre Pop
Genre Dance
Format VINYL LP

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