Friday, November 20, 2020

Albums of The Year # 36 Latitude - Mystic Hotline



Interesting one this one. Particularly for someone of my particular middle aged vintage. Mystic Hotline, the second album from San Francisco quintet Latitude, is so immediately reminiscent of early Eighties, alternative sunshine sounds that listening to it felt like being taken back the best part of forty years in a time machine.

So, some immediate associations that I drew: Blondie, Go Go's, Let's Active, Bangles, Martha & the Muffins, dB's, Adult Net, Look Blue Go Purple, Pylon, Swimming Pool Q's. All gloriously sunny, honeyed, sublimely happy touchstones. Latitude use these inescapable reference points to glorious effect.  

I found listening to this record a fabulous experience on a dark overcast Monday morning looking out at an increasingly Autumnal landscape in the North of England, leaves turning brown on the tree outside my flat and preparing themselves to fall. Because Mystic Hotline occupies territory that's unmistakably Summer. Better than that, the territory of the most glorious summers of your lifetime. Between the ages of sixteen and twenty one.

This is a record that you realise early on is not going to let you down and become a bit 'meh'. Ten songs in all, combining to become much more than the sum of its parts.  Latitude pull of a similar party trick to Alvvays, taking a handful of sounds that are utterly familiar, yet injecting them with a sublime energy and grace to ensure this is never just an exercise in looking back. Altogether fabulous album.


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