Tracks Of My Teens: #13 – Olympians

24 Sep

Tracks Of My Teens

Welcome one and all to the latest in our occasional series of psyche-diving and memory rummaging. The latest willing volunteer to join in the Tracks of my Teens fun is one of Norwich’s own Olympians (we still count him as Norwich’s own btw, even though he now technically resides in London) and arch drone-miester, Daniel J Harvey.

Olympians Dan

Super Furry Animals – “Hermann Loves Pauline”

I remember first seeing the Super Furry Animals on a Jools Holland special where he announced the hot new music happening – ‘Brit Beat’ (so close, poor Jools) and SFA were playing “If You Don’t Want Me To Destroy You”. I remember being so impressed with the song (and the length of the title) that I got up extra early the next day and promptly did nothing about it whatsoever. A year or so later however something clicked and I bought their next record, Radiator, from the Norwich HMV (there was only one back then), and it instantly made everything else seem really boring. I’d never really gotten into dance stuff, so this was the first time I’d really heard weird synth sounds and horrible techno squawking. Tiny. Mind. Blown. It’s all pretty amazing, but this song, about Albert Einstein’s parents, was my favourite at the time, from the spoken ranting in the verses (‘Marie Curie was Polish born but French bred’), to the robotic Beach Boys breakdown.

Spiritualized – “Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space”

This record came out when I was 14 years old and my main interest at the time was sitting cross-legged on my bedroom floor and pushing the headphones as close to my ears as possible. Sometimes whilst listening to music. I can’t even remember why I bought this record, although the ‘music as drugs maaan’ pill packaging might have been something to do with it. It’s quite difficult to describe how ridiculous it sounded to ears brought up on standard guitar music. It’s just one simple idea, but repeated whilst more and more things are piled on top. The whole record is crushingly tragic, and this appealed to me as an overtly feelings-based adolescent. Apparently this song was supposed to start with a sample of Elvis singing “Can’t Help Falling In Love With You” but the sample was denied. When it was reissued years later reinstating the sample was the only thing Jason Pierce could find at fault to change about the whole record. I can’t decide whether that makes the record more amazing or him more of a dickhead. Probably both.

The Flaming Lips – “Race For The Prize”

Like all total losers, I used to endless read and re-read all the information in CD liner notes, so I came to the Flaming Lips after realising they were produced by the chap that had produced Mercury Rev’s Deserters Songs the previous year (which was alright, but spoiled by a slightly cloying Americana-vibe and some unforgivable sax solos). At first I remember hating how cold and detached this record sounded, and how amateurish and clattery the drums sounded, but then it slowly won me over and remains one of my total favourites. This song is all about scientists and the sacrifices they make for the human race, still one of the most simultaneously pleasant and practical sentiments in a song ever. It was a close tie between this one and “Feeling Yourself Disintegrate”, but this one is much more positive and the other is about how everybody is slowly dying.

Olympians’ latest EP, Adventure Gun is out now (review here) and available to buy here.

You can catch them live over the coming weeks at the following venues:

28 September – Brixton Windmill (all-dayer)
12 October – Northampton Labour Club w / Gunning For Tamar
16 October – Open Norwich w / Focus & The Lost Levels
18 October – Fighting Cocks, Kingston w / More Than Conquerors
19 October – Barely Regal Stage at Swn Festival, Cardiff

Stalk Olympians: Website / Twitter / Facebook / Tumblr


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