Sam Beam hit his peak with this album. From the heartrendingly beautiful The Trapeze Swinger to his folksy cover of New Order’s Love Vigilantes, the album is a warm, relaxing listen perfect for my cold Beijing day.
Every time I go to Skopje, there is always someone who asks why on Earth I’d bother to come and stay such long periods of time in what they feel is an insignificant city in the heart of the Balkans. You can thank this song, the disc it came on, and a friendship with Gorazd Capovski and Ilija Stojanovski, for this.
I had worked at Tone Casualties records as an A&R Manager, and came across this disc while at my evening job, buying weird music for Aron’s Records (RIP). I had passed through what was then Yugoslavia a few years past, and knew a bit about Macedonian music, but the combination of goth/darkwave and an ethnic, Byzantine sound, came as a huge revelation. I never, in a million years, thought Love Will Tear Us Apart would sound perfect with bagpipes. A pleasant surprise which still strikes a chord after 20 years.
Has it really been that long? I’ll be turning 45 in a couple of months, and reading this story reminds me of how much time has zipped by. I still remember hearing this at around 13 years old, thanks to an uncle who was into New Wave music at the time. I was instantly mesmerized, as I was when I had first heard New Order a few months previous.
Thanks to Post-Punk.com for the trip down memory lane.