Saturday, April 13, 2019

Distractions: A Quick Review Of The Record Store Day Reissue Of Euphoria By Insides (4AD)

Back in 1993, Euphoria by Insides was a very atypical record to find on the 4AD label. It was airy in a way that suggested something new was being heard, and less ornamented than nearly anything on that label at that time. The band's one album for that esteemed label, Euphoria, has been reissued for Record Store Day 2019 by Beacon Sound and I'm here to share some of that good news.

Julian Tardo and Kirsty Yates were Earwig before they were Insides and they had a devoted following. For the rest of us, it was the allure of a new band on 4AD that made us pick up Euphoria in shops in 1993. The music within was light and easy to digest ("Distractions"), veering nearly towards the sort of thing that certain Brian Eno solo records had once predicted. The tunes here were also carefully constructed, with Yates and Tardo favoring simplicity over fussiness, like on opener "Walking in Straight Lines", a number that owed far more to 808 State, for example, than it did to Cocteau Twins. Elsewhere, "Carly Simon" seems a riff on the piano ballad, recast for the then-looming 21st century, while the percolating "Relentless" is a good example of why this band shared stages with Seafeel back then.

A record that deserves new assessments and a deeper level of appreciation, Euphoria gets the release it's always deserved in this fine set from Beacon Sound. With brief but helpful liner notes from Simon Reynolds, this edition of the sole 4AD Insides album is a release worth seeking out this Record Store Day 2019.

[Photo: Phil Nicholls, 1993]