Airport Girl - Honey, I'm An Artist

matcd011  /  January 2001
Airport Girl - Honey, I'm An Artist
cd   $10.00

lp   $10.00

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Airport Girl - Honey, I'm An Artist

matcd011  /  January 2001

Debut full length by an eight-piece from Nottingham, England who play guitars as well as trumpet and violin and have earned comparisons to the Pastels, Go Betweens, Pavement, Cinerama and Sportique. In describing the band, Melody Maker wrote "like Belle and Sebastian meet Denim, which is the stuff of genius" and "melodies so glorious they make the room spin in adoration." Following acclaimed singles on English labels Fortuna Pop! and WIAIWYA, this 12-track album marks the band's US debut and is available in collaboration with Fortuna Pop! on CD and limited edition Czech vinyl.

  1. Power Yr Trip
  2. I'm Wrong, You're Right
  3. Home On The Range
  4. Frostbite
  5. Hey! Crayola
  6. Love Runs Clean
  7. Between Delta And Delaware
  8. The Foolishness That We Create Through Love...
  9. You Fill Me Up (I Lose)
  10. Surf #7 Wave
  11. Shine Like Stars


Sometimes you have to get the bigger picture to really understand what it is you're looking at. Just as, sometimes, you have to hear more than just a few singles from a band to really understand what they're capable of. Airport Girl are a fine example of this. They've released a clutch of singles, including the punky 'Power Yr Trip' on WIAIWYA and, most recently, the gorgeous but hideously overlong popsong 'The Foolishness That We Create Through Love Is The Closest We Come To Greatness.' Each single had a secret shine of greatness hidden within, but never really had the chance to come out. Even 'The Foolishness' was over before it really got anywhere, hinting at a wonderful album in the pipeline and leaving us wondering what was coming. So, it's only now, with this album, that we see what the band were getting at all along. Admittedly, Airport Girl would like us to think that their spiritual ancestors are the likes of Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers ('Home On The Range', on this album, is incredibly Richman-esque), but the truth is that they are much, much closer both musically and lyrically to The Delgados or The Wedding Present. The album certainly starts like a Delgados record. 'This Could Be The Start Of Something Small' is beautifully pensive, accompanied by a delicate sounding violin, and hinting at some truly delightful moments to come. Then, suddenly, it bursts into the stomping punky fire of 'Power Yr Trip'. And this is an art that Airport Girl seem to have mastered: mixing the quiet, pensive, moving moments of a record with forcefully sublime dancefloor jumpalongs. There are certainly a few standout tracks here. 'Between Delta and Delaware' is gorgeous, rising and falling, bouncing along like a Tompaulin record more than anything else with its summery, light-footed melodies. 'The Foolishness' remains as explosive and wonderful as ever before, only this time is completely in context, and 'Surf #7 Wave' is explosive, violently loud, and blissfully energetic. But the most glorious moment is a peaceful one. 'Frostbite' is the track that proves whilst Airport Girl may be promising amateurs for the time-being, they won't be seen as amateurs for much longer. And they certainly won't be described as 'shambolic' again. With almost a hymnal, folky nature, the swoonsome little epic is a pleading indie masterpiece, mixing rising strings, fantastic guitar work, and poignant vocals. Almost anthemic in quality, the song builds and builds, leaving the listener in a vacuum when it finally ends. Brilliant stuff, and sure proof that Airport Girl are on to something...   --Strange Fruit
Airport Girl weaves instruments, styles, and direction on their debut full-length, Honey, I'm an Artist. Noisy pop guitar rockers, in the vein of Pavement or the Pixies, can be heard next to sweet, sentimental, string-focused ballads, like those of Belle & Sebastian. The songs have a melancholy feel and a tight structure that never seems to move in any new destination. At their most successful moments, Airport Girl uses an array of instruments and players that can create very sweet exchanges between guitars, keyboards, harmonica, melodica, and theremin. "Home on the Range" is a fun country swing that has interesting acoustic picking and harmonica. At times, Airport Girl touches on the sincerity of the quiet moments of Hood. "Between Delta and Delaware" is a great example of the guitars working off one another to create a fun, poppy melody, while the vocal delivery is rhythmic and off-the-cuff, sounding a lot like Number One Cup. The big choruses throughout Honey, I'm an Artist are an added highlight to the record, where mixing choices can sometimes diminish the big feel. Guitars are sometimes buried, and strings can bury keyboards when they need to be stepped up to achieve a dissonance that Airport Girl seems to be after. "Surf #7 Wave" drives to the end of Honey, I'm an Artist with distortion and dream pop melodies, making you wonder what Airport Girl's next effort will cover.   --All Music Guide
Midlands based Airport Girl make no bones about what they do. It's indie pop with the emphasis firmly fixed on pop. That's pop in the traditional sense. The Pastels, Teenage Fanclub and Belle & Sebastian all come to mind while experiencing Airport Girl's brand of jangly indie pop. Opening track 'This Could Be The Start of Something Small,' with its slightly bleak aure, is in complete contrast to the fuzzy, fired up instant appeal of 'Power Yr Trip,' an absolute scorcher, with its sing-a-long 'bada ba bada badah' hook. Harmonica, acoustic guitar and a clip-clop basic rhythm lead into the country soul flavoured 'I'm Wrong, You're Right.' It's more of the same, but up with the tempo for 'Home On The Range.' 'Frostbite' is aptly titled, a chilled atmospheric number. 'Hey! Crayola" is an instrumental indie pop take on the Tex-Mex sound. 'Love Runs Clean' nods toward Baby Bird's off the wall style, similarly, albeit a shade more dynamic, is 'Between Delta & Delaware.' Cascading chords lead into 'The Foolishness We Create Is The Closest We Come To Greatness,' an effervescent slab of indie pop perfection. 'You Fill Me Up (I Lose)' is another song with a country flavour, while 'Surf #7 Wave' is a scatter bomb instrumental workout, incessant and blasting. To close is the gentle 'Shine Like Stars,' that brings things to a floating gossamer conclusion. Airport Girl songs, in the main, live up to the expectations of their titles, no pretensions just indie pop in its most pure form. A cool album from the genuinely and fiercely independent underground. "Honey, I'm An Artist" is unlikely to even scratch the surface of the national charts, not that it's likely to bother Airport Girl in the slightest. Indie pop perfection.   --Scootering Magazine
Airport Girl is so rocking they had to promise Matinée an ultra-poppy single to make up for it! Airport Girl are from England, their influences range from the Scottish pop sounds of The Pastels and Belle & Sebastian to English outfits Sportique and Hefner. Like Cinerama and The Go-Betweens and the more American flavors of The Modern Lovers, or maybe even The Butterflies of Love. Upbeat popsongs with big guitars, winsome accordion and frenetic rhythms... Starts off pleasantly Jonathan Richman-esque then goes completely David Gedge and spars with itself like Robert Forster and Grant McLennan, there's even a hint of Jazz Butcher in their somewhere... There's also the vague feeling that they've come from a land down under, New Zealand and Australia, like The Chills and The Church and (I'm not afraid to say it) The Triffids 'Born Sandy Devotional' (one of the Best Album Ever Recorded)!   --Parasol
I've been listening to Airport Girl's 'Between Delta And Delaware' on repeat play for the last 2 days. And I'm going to tell you why. Because this is The One Song on their 12-track album Honey I'm An Artist that truly deserves the kind of inflated B&S / Pastels comparison typically accorded to them. Because this is That One Song you should get the entire album for (unless of course you're getting the single instead, which is the kind of sensible thing that typically eludes me). Because 'Between Delta And Delaware' is one of those elusive low-key winsome songs that catch you in passing, like sudden iridescences that shine out in the blur of the world you look out on from a speeding bus. Because this small little song has all the kind of hidden fuzzy charm you'd find in the B-side of some grand single, or unexpectedly but delightedly at the end of a brilliant EP, like B&S's 'Put The Book Back On The Shelf' on 3,6,9 Seconds Of Light (well, just a LITTLE like that - this isn't THAT good). Because 'Between Delta And Delaware' has the rhythm guitar on the right earphone, the lead guitar on the left, the base guitar bridging the two with a chugging hugging hum, and a 4-note analogue keyboard softly glowing behind it all. and then ... yes, only THEN, does the voice stride in, all casual singing-speak, yes, almost Pastel-like, wistfully aha-ing and uhuh-ing between verses filled like a travelling journal with passing imagery and fleeting detail, catching "acerbic kisses on the morning after" and "shimmering heat haze, glimmering freeways" and all manner of the personal and the peripheral from Delta to Delaware. Not that you even notice the lyrics. Because 'Between Delta And Delaware' is one of those rare pedigree pieces of Pop that hit those Three Perfect Chords. And stick to those 3 chords. All 3 minutes of it. There's no guitar solo. No solo anything. Just those Three Perfect Chords that never fail to make you so inexplicably happy. And finally (well there's more but I won't test you good people), 'Between Delta And Delaware' ends on a whim. No swelling climax, no sad ending. No you don't see it coming. Because he suddenly decides "THERE" and brings the melodic musings to an end, except he didn't tell the rest of the band, who each end a half-beat behind the drums, a gently shambling close to a song that opened up the skies and all the fields and all the trees amidst them 'Between Delta And Delaware'. Airport Girl record for the very wonderful Matinée and Fortuna Pop labels, depending on what side of the Atlantic you happen to be from. Or in. Or in love with... You can buy their records direct from the labels and from record shops. If you're lucky enough to still have a decent one in your town.   --Tangents
There's close to 100 people in this band it seems (okay, maybe it's just 8) and they're from Nottingham. England and the one guy I know from that village drinks like a fish so I should assume these guys are all alcoholics? Some lunkhead compared these guys to Belle & Sebastian and I'm sure that reviewer is having a hard time taking hid head out of his ass. How about something more akin to The Pastels or Sportique but with prettier songs than either of 'em. If you're not swooning to "I'm Wrong, You're Right" then you drink too much.   --Dagger
Airport Girl's debut, Honey, I'm an Artist, is full of nods to fringe rockers past and present, from the unmistakably Jonathan Richman-tinged opening track, "This Could Be the Start of Something Small" all the way through the minimalist, twee-pop "Shine Like Stars." In between, we get punk rock, rough-and-tumble love songs, fuzzed-out power pop and even a surf-rock number. The whole thing's coated with a sugary Gen X slackerness that, for probably the first time in five years, doesn't seem silly or contrived. Though it takes awhile to build momentum after the promising first two tracks, there's enough to keep things interesting until the band hits its stride on "Between Delta and Delaware" and "The Foolishness That We Create Through Love is the Closest We Come to Greatness." The latter ranks right up there with The Boo Radleys' "I Will Always Ask You Where You've Been Even Though I Know the Answer" as the best song with the longest name. The nearly six-minute, hook-laden take-me-back love song has it all - handclaps, trebly guitar licks and crunchy distortion. It even has a nifty trumpet solo right in the middle that doesn't sound like anyone's showing off, which is harder to pull off than you think. "Between Delta and Delaware" is more subtle. whereas "The Foolishness..." is a straight-up, boy-meets-girl relationship-story thing, "D&D" is a tight, low-key succession of fragment-filled image poems like this: Darkness of summer, sweet sugar molasses Streams of the righteous cause seven car crashes Someone holds memories of crying and laughter. Like certain thick kisses on the morning after. The band uses simple a-has and uh-huhs to tie the quirkily complex vignettes to the equally cryptic chorus. Those two songs, the singles from the album, are a tough act to follow, but after the sub-par "You Fill Me Up (I Lose)," the band recovers and closes the album with the ripping surf rock of "Surf #7 Wave" and the minimalist "Shine Like Stars."   --Flak Magazine
Sometimes my listening requirements alter. I tend to spend most of my life reveling in the la-la lushness of soft, quiet pop, but sometimes I need something a tad chaotic and unpredictable to help stave off the paralysis of lethargy. Airport Girl's Honey, I'm an Artist is the perfect album for this sort of thing. The guitars aren't exactly driving, but they sometimes wander loudly, like fugitive echoes in an empty, ancient house. There are tender moments ("Frost Bite"), countryish moments ("Home on the Range") and strange, inexplicably familiar moments ("Between Delta and Delaware"). When, from time to time, I decide to ascend from the depths of the sonic rut in which I generally dwell, it can be assured that Honey, I'm an Artist will act as my soundtrack and motivation, in much the same way that "Eye of the Tiger" spurred and helped define Rocky Belboa's beefy heroism.   --Milk Magazine
After two promising singles on the Fortuna Pop! label this album has been eagerly awaited for some time, and it certainly doesn't disappoint. A lovely invigorating package of lo-fi indie-pop, it's eager to remind the listener of the joys of old-school indie rock. The influences seem quite broad, but touch on lots of old favourites. They've been compared to Belle and Sebastian but to me they seem more reminiscent of the Delgados, Pavement and the Pastels. The album kicks off in a reflective mood with some cute wistful slices of acoustic pop. On 'This Could Be the Start of Something Small' and 'I'm Wrong, You're Right' they use their 8-piece capacity to good effect while keeping the songs sparse, simple and catchy. Quiet strings, piano, melodica and an occasional trumpet all contribute to the rhythm of acoustic guitar and the laid back dreamy indie boy vocals. Some of the tracks take a while to grow on you, but after a few listens they'll leave you feeling really warm inside. Even if the thought of twee indie-pop gives you the shivers, I'd listen on - tracks like the singles "Power Yr Trip" and the long -titled but wonderfully catchy 'The Foolishness We Create through Love is the Closest We Come to Greatness' will give you a wake-up blast of fuzzy lo-fi power-pop with an older more punky indie sound. You'll want to dance right away. Believe me, it's a great antidote to too much serious post-rock... The album contains a lot more great moments - 'Love Runs Clean' takes the obligatory tearful break-up song and builds it into something with an understated power. 'Between Delta and Delaware' lays beautiful lyrics over a gorgeous summery sound that recalls the Pastels or Pavement at their best when it reaches it's lo-fi climax. After more Pixies-esque indie punk riffs ('Surf #7 Wave') the album closes out with a final goodbye from the lands of cute lo-fi. It's a touching and lively album and something that should please all the real indie kids out there.   --Pennyblack Magazine
Airport Girl comes from Nottingham, England and was formed in 1997. The first album was just released in the USA by Matinée Records and in the UK by Fortuna Pop!. Since the proper CD's folder, the band is divided in Airport Girl hardcore and softcore--you can say that the album is sufficiently flexible, going from a calm song like "This could be the start of something small" that reminds me the most reflective moments of The Delgados, to a trick more aggressive as "Power Yr Trip". "Home on the Range" is like Modern Lovers playing country music, and the power pop "The Foolishness That We Create Through Love Is The Coolest We Come To Greatness" is one of the best songs in this album.   --Modular
Airport Girl est à prendre beaucoup plus au sérieux, point de jonction idéal entre les Go-Betweens et Hefner - autrement dit un ersatz complétement affriolant de l'icone Jonathan Richman. Secondé par des instruments aussi chérissables que le theremin ou le mélodica, Honey I'm An Artist s'effeuille comme une paquerette et fini invariablement sur "à la folie".   --Les Inrocktuptibles
Premier album pour le groupe de Nottingham qu'on avait remarqué lors des pop parties en compagnie de Tompaulin ou de Fosca et qui avait su nous charmer avec une série de singles attachants. Comme ils sont huit, les membres d'Airport Girl peuvent s'en donner à cœur joie et inclure tout ce qui leur passe par la tête pour habiller leurs mélodies pop. Ainsi on retrouve des guitares pastel, des trompettes ocres ou des violons gris métal. Cette variété explique pourquoi on passe d'une chanson à la suivante comme d'un univers à l'autre. Pastels, Go Betweens, Pavement, Cinerama : les chansons d'Airportgirl ne sont jamais très éloignées de la musique de ces groupes mais suffisamment différentes pour ne pas être chiantes. "Honey I'm an Artist" égraine les chansons propres sur elles. Le défunt Melody Maker avait comparé leur single "The Foolishness..." (que l'on retrouve sur l'album) à du Belle et Sebastien (pour le côté twee) et à du Denim (pour le cote déterminé) Pour ma part je dirais plutôt que Airport girl est capable de pondre de superbe mélodies chamarrées et richement enluminées qui recèlent malgré tout un petit côté fragile et attachant. Un peu comme la camerawoman de la pochette, charmante et amateur.   --Pop News