Legendary indie songwriter Pete Astor delivers again
Pete Astor, famously of 80s indie heroes The Loft and The Weather Prophets, returns with “Spilt Milk”; a showcase of his signature songwriting and sharp lyrical insight.
After making a name for himself in the early Creation days with his jangly melodies and quintessentially English wit, Astor proceeded to spend time making more electronic and experimental music. “Spilt Milk” sees him come full circle and return to his roots, or as Astor himself puts it, “to make a record that sounds more like me than me”. To achieve this, Astor recorded in the home studio of James Hoare (Ultimate Painting / Proper Ornaments), who also provides a one-man backing band on the record.
What is most prevalent throughout “Spilt Milk” is Astor’s stunning ability to write a good tune, whether it’s the self-deprecating indie-pop of ‘Mr. Music’ or the upbeat, chugging jangle of ‘My Right Hand’. On ‘Perfect Life’, we see him deliver his vocals in the half-singing / half-spoken style that has seen him so rightfully revered, while album-closer ‘Oh You’ is a sumptuous pop song, climaxing with a superb twangy guitar lick.
It’s obvious that Astor has paid particular heed to The Velvet Underground (well, who hasn’t?) when constructing his own songwriting style but ‘There It Goes’ momentarily diverts from this course. Instead, it introduces a hint of a country-style slide guitar and an altogether more contemplative mood, much in the vein of Sparklehorse’s more sedate moments.
What we have with “Spilt Milk” is an album by a true stalwart of English songwriting. Astor knows that he has nothing to prove to anyone, he’s simply created ten beautiful songs that ‘sound like himself’. And if writing catchy pop jingles about erectile dysfunction (‘Very Good Lock’) sounds like himself, then who are we to argue?
A lovely, complete record – a must-listen.