Airport Girl - Do You Dream in Colour? EP

matinée 037  /  July 2003
Airport Girl - Do You Dream in Colour? EP
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Airport Girl - Do You Dream in Colour? EP

matinée 037  /  July 2003

Highly anticipated return of Nottingham, England's Airport Girl with their first release since the debut album "Honey I'm An Artist" stormed best seller charts in January 2001. The superb title track is a violin-led orchestrated gem which (somewhat disturbingly) joins the exalted company of Kylie Minogue's "I Should Be So Lucky", The Farm's "Altogether Now" and the Pet Shop Boys' "Go West" by taking its inspiration from Pachelbel's "Canon in D." Second track "When You Fall" is a trumpet-driven summer pop hit that recalls the best moments of The Boo Radleys and was written by Airport Girl's resident trumpeteer Rob Fleay - a man who has already booked his place in pop's hall of fame with his appearance on White Town's No. 1 UK hit single 'Your Woman". "Easier To Smile" is a singalong rave-up à la The Beach Boys' "Barbara Ann" featuring tambourine, shaky egg and handclaps plus guest musicians Graeme Elston of Slipslide on backing vocals and Matinée head honcho Jimmy Tassos on bongos. The EP closes with a beautifully sad lament called "Been Waiting." It is a triumphant return for Airport Girl, who follow this release with a new album for Matinée in September.

  1. Do You Dream in Colour?
  2. When You Fall
  3. Easier To Smile
  4. Been Waiting


Just when you thought it was safe to put away the hankies more tragi-pop this time from the loveable old hands of Missives gone by Airport Girl. Four slices of scintillating pop all contrasting in melodic perspective to reveal a band unfurling their song writing credentials. Kicking off with the stinging string section of the lead track, 'Do you dream in colour', which delivers an ample quotient of divine heart trembling pop, twisted with a regretful edge and courting with the same emotive classicism as more often mined by Cinerama, sophisticated and breathless stuff. 'When you fall' rifles through the same sunny pastures as the Boo Radley's classic 'Wake Up' with it's uplifting trumpet fanfares, yet distinctly marries it with a wintery perspective with the addition of some elegantly placed violin arrangements ala L'Augmentation and places the whole mixture atop a pop thrilled C-86 strum coda. 'Easier to smile' prides itself with some magical acoustic pop albeit crooked recalls the feel good hooks of early Housemartins. All delightfully wrapped up by the emotively draining 'Been waiting' which canters vaguely between a feint Dylan-esque glow and tear spilling rusticness. Excellent in the least.   --Losing Today
Fasten up your jackets, air those woolly socks and scrape the dandruff out of that Stussy ski-hat. Winter's on its way folks and there's nothing you can do about it, 'cept maybe live in Airport Girl's perennial summer world where dark nights don't exist, ice is for chilling soft drinks and Frosty The Snowman is currently serving a life ban for casting a disruptive dispersion over their pastel-shaded utopia. Hence Airport Girl release their paean to the summer 'Do You Dream In Colour' in the middle of September, a string-tinged, orchestral lament that recalls the Pogues' 'Dirty Old Town' having it's bassline mercilessly shafted by the Band Of Holy Joy as Martin Carr takes notes in an auspiciously diagramatic fashion. The results can be heard on the bouncy 'When You Fall', which sounds like 'Wake Up Boo!''s great uncle Colin splintering his thorax on a bison's spare rib at his mum's barbecue, while 'Been Waiting' is an acoustic lament a la Tim Buckley that pours reverie and solace in equal measures. Better still though is the gorgeous 'Easier To Smile', a three minute ride through the teenage Jim Reeves fanclub fusing three chords and simplistic harmonies which sits preposterously as the third track on this single, a browbeating feat when you consider that the last band to throw away b-sides this good were Oasis in the days of Tony McCarroll, and look what happened to him.   --Drowned In Sound
Airport Girl describe themselves as shambolic and lo-fi. Hell, even their e-mail address refers to them being shambolic and lo-fi. But what they seem to forget is that their music is so darn endearing. This EP, their first new material in ages, finds the band more introspective than before. The title track is melancholic, recalling the finest moments of C86 with a smouldering little ballad laden with strings and faltering vocals. Gorgeous stuff indeed. The remaining tracks are vintage Airport Girl. "When You Fall" is a bouncy popsong that stops and starts, reminds the listener of The Lucksmiths, and is full of handclaps and brassy accompaniment. "Easier To Smile" is a suitably shambolic gem, that sounds like the band are playing by the seat of their pants with the strained vocals and shuffling guitars, and "Been Waiting", full of harmonica and melancholy, is sorrowful and lovely. Ace.   --Strange Fruit
The Do You Dream in Colour EP is a stopgap measure between albums for indie pop stalwart Matinée. The band combines the instrumentation of a chamber pop outfit with the fervour of a traveling revival show and the songwriting skill of Brill Building pros. The EP's title track is a short chamber pop tune built around the haunting chord progression of Pachelbel's Canon in D with some suitably melancholic lead vocals. When You Fall is a spritely romp written by the band's trumpet player with propulsive drums and not surprisingly a hooky trumpet part. Easier to Smile is a short acoustic song recorded in the spirit of the Beach Boys' Party record written and sung in the spirit of the Cure's acoustic love songs. Been Waiting is another acoustic based song but it is a heartbreaker with aching harmonies and a mournful harmonica. The four songs here only hint at what the band can do but fans will find it an essential addition to their CD collection.   --All Music Guide
after a long break away nottingham's airport girl return with their new ep do you dream in colour? on first listen to the single, it seems that whilst they've been away someone has given them a new orchestra as a present, with a violin lead intro that swirls around a sound that's lush despite its lo fi leanings. the simple tale of regret and sadness all in a black and white world holds the attention. despite the fact that some will find the slightly strained vocals a little too much to take, the lonesome chorus and earnest vocals that bear some passing resemblance to heftner, grows on repeated listens. this ode to the sadder things in life makes second track when you fall seem even more uplifting, with the orchestra now jostling alongside twanging guitars, all lead by the trumpet of track author rob fleay. the tune has the joyfulness of a young band whilst keeping the influence and sensibilities of any number of sixties pop sensations, everything seems to click into place better than on the first track. when you fall almost bounces along into third track easier to smile a joy filled parade of a summer record, the tunes all a foot stomping, hand clapping tambourine thumping singalong; that sounds like its been recorded in one go on some holiday beach, with a host of friends dragged along. this happy rush slows on the short conclusion been waiting that despite its sad content and downbeat progression holds a delicate loveliness, setting the sun on a varied and interesting ep that showcases a wide range of influences and styles.   --Taste Music
The indie version of Je T'aime, no less! Have Airport Girl yet to release a less than spectacular record? If they have I'm yet to hear it. I was gonna ask why this is released on Matinée and not Fortuna Pop!, but, looking at the inlay, I see that a certain Jimmy Tassos plays bongos on track three - 'Easier To Smile'. Not only does this expose Jimmy as a hippy of the first order, but that the entire indie world is utterly incestuous. It has been written. This record? Oh yeah, it's bloody great, as ever.   --Tasty
Airport Girl's press release claims that the title track, "Do You Dream in Colour?" joins the exalted company of Kylie's "I should be so lucky", The Farm's "Altogether Now" and the Pet Shop Boys' "Go West" by taking its inspiration from Pachelbel's "Canon in D". While I can hear little similarity between the aforementioned tracks, have only the vaguest notion of Pachelbel and no desire to find out more, (I'm sure I'll be enlightened one day), Airport Girl's latest offering, compared to some of the crap I've had to review recently, was a breath of fresh air in a jiffy bag. The weary vocals, over a sad violin, tones from a Hammond organ and slow paced retro rhythm guitar, ask, "Do you dream in colour girl? A contrast to your black and white world", and I'm reminded of the last dance at the prom for class of '62, and the crumbling expectations of the wallflowers as they watch the pretty girls schmooze with their dates. Mascara runs and beehives deflate, but happier days are just around the corner with Airport Girl. "When You Fall" is a trumpet-led pop tune for a summer afternoon, a song to tap your toes to while reapplying eyeliner for the evening ahead. Similarly, "Easier to Smile" is a clap-a-long, jangling guitar hit, which makes you want to rattle your tambourine. "Been Waiting" closes the EP by returning to the Harvest Moon-esque lamenting and reaffirms Airport Girl as the real retro, feel good/feel bad, West Coast, pop-tastic musical treat. The Thrills can fuck-off and make way for Airport Girl.   --Do Something Pretty
Let's move back to the start and finish again with Matinée, and the newest single by the very lovely Airport Girl. No rock tradition here, no siree. Instead it's the anti-rock tradition of the fey indie world at play, and if that sounds like a disparaging remark, accept my apologies for being a lazy writer and take this bowl (cut) of jelly babies as recompense. No, seriously, Airport Girl's 'Do You Dream In Colour' EP is four tracks of summertime sweetness and light, and when the strings on the lead title track sweep in at the start you just know you're in for a treat. And sure enough, when a voice drops in that just crumbles and creaks a bit like The Orchids' James Hackett, you shyly smile to yourself and say 'yeah, this is how it's meant to be...' Belle And Sebastian used to sound this good, you know. Remember? When they were brittle and wayward and in danger of falling apart every time someone breathed too loudly? Well that's 'Do You Dream In Colour'. Elsewhere on the EP Airport Girl are a bit tougher, although it's a question of relativity of course and compared to Oneida they are as tough as a seed head drifting in the breeze. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, naturally. Airport Girl's email address includes the words 'shambolic lofi pop'. What more do you really need to know?   --Tangents
Yeah, yeah, yeah, the title track has got top hole strings an all, but the madly bouncing trumpet on "When You Fall" is worth the price of admission by itself, like boss brass a-go-go. Elsewhere, "Easier To Smile" is a tightly wound acoustic rockette of a campfire jangle that shows the likes of Belle & Sebastian a clean pair of heels in the 3.30 indie-schlock handicap and "Been Waiting" has a nice harmonica and real touch of Ballboy in the air. Shape up and ship it in.   --Unpeeled
Airport Girl is from Nottingham, England. An eight-piece band, the music incorporates everything from bongos to harmonicas. Airport Girl's EP Do You Dream In Colour? is short and sweet. The title track, very reminiscent of The Lucksmiths, flies by in just under two minutes. That's plenty of time for Airport Girl to get into your head. It's pure pop goodness. The second song, "When You Fall," is led in by a trumpet and four-count drums, upping the rock level by quite a bit while still maintaining its pop sensibilities. This is also evident on "Easier to Smile." It's very 60s-sounding, complete with handclaps and "shoo be do be's." It also has lyrics that are the epitome of a good sing along: "I've got a pain in my head / What caused it? / Something she said." "Been Waiting" finds a harmonica pushing along a short tale of a girl and loneliness that never once wavers towards too gloomy. Delightful. For an eight-piece band, Airport Girl is amazingly tight. Yeah, this isn't a live album, but even in some larger studio projects (The Reindeer Section), the amount of musicians used leads to a schizophrenic or cramped sounding album. Not so with Airport Girl. While different elements of 60s pop mingle with rock, the EP remains very cohesive. This is an excellent introduction to a great band.   --Delusions of Adequacy