Tuesday, 19 January 2010


Over at Stylus Magazine, Todd Hutlock lists his Top Ten Song and/or Album Titles by Felt. As fan parlour games go, it's a good one - and I would disagree almost entirely with his choices. So here, in the spirit of the Sunday of life, are some alternative suggestions...

#10 All The People I Like Are Those That Are Dead
OK, Todd and I are in agreement on this one at least - no way around it. Amazing - not least because of how weirdly Lawrence syncopates it when he's singing.

#9 The Final Resting Place Of The Ark
Impeccable. Despite being one of my least favourite Felt tracks.

#8 Stained Glass Windows In The Sky
At the purple end of things (see also: The World Is Soft As Lace; Crumbling The Antiseptic Beauty). And something like the diametric opposite of a classic 'why not?' Denim title, e.g. Internet Curtains.

#7 Templeroy
I always assumed this was a word Lawrence had scavenged (I was vaguely imagining a ceremonial position in the British Raj). It appears, however, to be a wonderful coinage of his own.

#6 Buried Wild Blind
Always hard to detach titles from the tracks, and I love this one. But the title has a lyricism all its own: desperation in amber.

#5 Mexican Bandits
There are several different genres of Felt title and this belongs to 'overspecific local colour' (see also: Roman Litter; The Seventeenth Century; Vasco da Gama). This, though, is one of my favourites. The instrumentals often seem to end up with the best titles, perhaps for obvious reasons.

#4 Primitive Painters
Christian and I disagree on the merits of the song. The title is also arguably part of the category mentioned above, and perhaps I only like it quite so much because I'm obsessed with cave painting. Nonetheless: oblique - evocative - exemplary.

#3 Black Ship In The Harbour
Auguring ill: a gothic novel in six syllables.

#2 Stains On A Decade
The best album title, belatedly. And probably the most succinct summation of Felt as a band out of time, perfectly aligned (10 albums, 10 years etc.) with a decade to which they did not belong.

#1 Sempiternal Darkness
I don't know where Lawrence picked up 'sempiternal' (in a Chatterton poem?), but the title imparts a weird Miltonic gloom to the beginning of an album  - possibly my favourite - which has many infernal overtones ("You're reading from a Season in Hell / And you don't know what it's about...").


  1. I remember reading an article where he thought "Sempiternal Darkness" and "Never Let You Go" were titles he shouldn't have bestowed - in the interview he decied to rename "Never....." as "Firejacket"

  2. I'm glad his second thoughts came too late with Sempiternal Darkness! But been thinking a lot about Lawrence in terms of retroactive decisions... Would be interested to read that interview, if you know where it's at.

  3. Think it was a 1989 Melody Maker interview

  4. My memory of that interview is that Lawrence would have preferred Never Let You Go to have been titled "Feathercut". There's already "Budgie Jacket" on MAAMOTM, so another title with Jacket in it seems unlikely...

  5. I stand corrected - it's been 20 years since I've seen that article.....

  6. Final Resting of the Ark played live, especially on the final tour, was the highlight of the whole gig in my opinion!
    Listen to any bootleg from that final tour, as that song was just amazing:)