Today's featured song takes us back in time to the early 1990s when a bunch of pasty-faced Brits managed to temporarily get us out of the mosh pit at Mudhoney and TAD shows in order to more carefully examine our footwear.
The Pale Saints were one of many British "shoegazing" bands, and got lost in the shuffle a bit. The band was less distinguished than their peers My Bloody Valentine (who pushed the sonic envelope so far out on 1991's Loveless that they were never able to create a follow up) and Lush (who had much surer pop sensibilities). The Saints fell somewhere between these two bands; their lush soundscapes were never as adventurous as My Bloody Valentine's, and their songs were not as hook-sure as Lush's. And they had the misfortune of not being as photogenic as the far less interesting Ride. They did however have the good taste to cover my favorite Opal song, "Fell From The Sun," on their self-titled debut.
Their follow-up, In Ribbons, was even more atmospheric than the debut, and featured a cover of Slapp Happy's (via Mazzy Star) "Blue Flower." The band's final album, Slow Buildings, was recorded after the departure of group leader Ian Masters and was unbelievably dull, even by shoegazer standards (whose musical aesthetic has a certain amount of dullness built into it).
The Little Hits website has made the Opal/Clay Allison version of "Fell From the Sun" available if you'd like to do a bit of compare and contrast. One of these days I'm going to get around to ripping my copy of Opal's difficult to find Early Recordings LP, and will post something else from the album.