Talulah Gosh is an eighties independent rock institution, a reference and influence for countless artists, one of the key pieces of Sarah Records, one of the great names of C-86, twee pop and so on. This is all – or should be – known by everyone who cares about ‘alternative’ music (not judgement, homework).
But maybe not everyone knows that the end of TG meant the birth of another band that would also die to give rise to another band, which would also die to give rise to another band (phew!). In order, the other three groups are Heavenly, Marine Research and Tender Trap, and it is the second album of the first mentioned that is now playing on our virtual record player.
The Garden of Heavenly came out 30 years ago by the same Sarah from Talulah’s days in the UK and the US by the immeasurable K. Records of indie hero Calvin Johnson – who even shows up, or rather releases the deep bass voice in “C is the Heavenly option” – likely aware of the group for their flirtation with the riot grrrl movement on the EP Atta girlfrom 1993.
Ok, it’s kind of impossible to enter Heavenly’s garden without remembering who originated it, but it’s also difficult to walk through it without thinking about Belle and Secastian, Frankie Cosmos, Soccer Mommy, Snail Mail or (on a different scale) contemporaries like Belly and Sundays.
Indie rock ‘cute with ironies’ guided by the voice of Amelia Fletcher; sweeter, musically more poppy, cohesive and less frantic than (at a general level) TG was. It’s almost like a maturation – although I have a certain aversion to this word – of the same band, with a different name in a decade and with different experiences, ready to follow as a reference for those who would come later. And at least this last part of the text is accurate.
Two years later, Heavenly would return noisier to their last record before originating Marine Research, but that (and a long trip back in time, to 1985 and the beginnings of Talulah Gosh) is for the next chapters of this story. For today, let’s celebrate 3 decades and let’s be enchanted with the beauty of The Garden of Heavenly.