Cat No: BIPH10CD
Released: March 2011
- Hit by a Car
- Discrete Packets
- I Play the Guitar
- When I Was Good
When I Was Good is a sparse, evocative, elegiac, haunting collection of songs written by John Robertson, and recorded with his brother William Robertson. Think Scott Walker singing Joy Division, Arcade Fire remixed by Boards of Canada, the Blue Nile produced by Mogwai. Uncompromising on all levels, the album is littered with unconventional time signatures, abrasive tonal textures and stark, powerful arrangements with little regard for conventional song structure. Hinderland explores territory shared by Brian Eno and Tortoise, while album closer Shame is a plaintive solo lament on nylon string guitar, reminiscent of Alasdair Roberts.
All of the above is threaded together by Robertson’s simple, direct, nakedly confessional lyrics, memorable documents of jealousy and betrayal (“I saw her and I let go of your hand”) and struggle (“How far are those hills? There might be nothing beyond those hills”). When I Was Good is a beautiful, vital piece of work, a piece of art made for its own sake, on its own terms, and deserving of your attention.
‘Evokes an Angelo Badalamenti score left to deteriorate in the rain… Affecting lyrics hit the heart while the electronics hit the rest, resulting in an intriguing synthesis worth multiple visits.’ – The Skinny
‘Icy, stark and stripped back, it sounds like mid-period Depeche Mode meets Arcade Fire.’ – Is This Music
‘Like a lost electronic album from 1980 produced by a seer looking 30 years into the future.’ – The Herald
‘Unique and inventive brilliance of second album is striking from the off’ – The List