The Sugargliders - A Nest With A View 1990-1994

matcd062  /  October 2012
The Sugargliders - A Nest With A View 1990-1994
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The Sugargliders - A Nest With A View 1990-1994

matcd062  /  October 2012

Brilliant 20-song retrospective compilation from the much loved and sorely missed Australian indie pop band The Sugargliders. Based around brothers Josh and Joel Meadows, the band released ten singles and one album between 1990 and 1994 on legendary pop imprints Summershine Records in Australia and Sarah Records in England.

Just 19 and 16 when they started, these boys from Melbourne’s far eastern suburbs wrote simple, original pop songs, brimming with an unpolished emotional honesty that earned the band an international following. Mostly self-taught, they aimed to create something new, something true, from the world as they experienced it, complete with its beauty and its injustice. It was not entertainment as much as something they knew they had to do. Whether they were singing about girls, property developers, or police car chases, you could tell they were singing what they believed, from deep in their hearts.

The brothers were joined, at different times, by Marc Fulker on drums and Robert Cooper (The Earthmen) on bass. Their recordings improved under the guidance of Mark Murphy (Ripe) and Adam Dennis (The Jordans). Summershine released the early vinyl singles, before they found a home at Sarah Records. It was a good match. Both label and band believed in changing the world, one duo-tone sleeved perfect pop 7” at a time. They went to England. They returned to Melbourne. Ten singles in four years and they were gone. A Nest with a View, released in collaboration with Popboomerang Records in Australia, collects the finest moments from these long out-of-print and highly cherished vinyl singles.

What was the Sugargliders’ essence? Perhaps a stark honesty or lack of pretention. They were also deeply idealistic – so much so that it couldn’t last. But perhaps something did last. These 20 songs, lovingly remastered, capture the sparkle, the tenderness, the exuberance, the idealism and the honesty of The Sugargliders. A flawed but beautiful collection to touch the conscience and rekindle our fickle hearts.

  1. Ahprahran
  2. 90 Days of Moths and Rust
  3. Seventeen
  4. Trumpet Play
  5. Reinventing Penicillin
  6. Letter from a Lifeboat
  7. Yr Jacket
  8. Fruitloopin'
  9. Unkind
  10. Give Me Some Confidence
  11. Police Me
  12. Aloha Street
  13. Will We Ever Learn?
  14. Beloved
  15. Corn Circles
  16. What We Had Hoped
  17. Everybody Supermarket
  18. Another Faux Pas
  19. Sway
  20. Top 40 Sculpture


As we eagerly scoured the latest Sarah Records communiqué, it said something like: "We're more excited by the new Sugargliders single and Blueboy LP than a seventeenth bloody Field Mice album, even if you're not. And it's OUR label". This, we'd hazard a guess, would have been about the time that Sarah released "Letter From A Lifeboat" - the first of half-a-dozen 7" singles that the Sugargliders would record for the label - and so when many of us might have first set our ears on this fine, fine band. It was a marker that there was a changing of the guard at the Garden Flat. And the Sugargliders were very much part of the new breed. Formed in Melbourne's suburbs around a hub of brothers Joel and Josh Meadows, they specialised in gentle-ish, softly danceable, guitar and bass-led indie-pop: their songs were compact, aesthetically pleasing and imbued with a rare lyrical clarity, which gave them the advantage of being the antithesis of basically every wrongly-touted UK music press darling over the course of the early to mid-1990s. "A Nest With A View" captures the best of the Sugargliders' output in those few short years, during which they contrived to produce a towering catalogue comprised, rather wonderfully, of no less than ten three-track, seven-inch vinyl singles. All of which are represented here. The sublime "Ahprahran", one of their Sarah A-sides, is quite a way to start. It's easy and unassuming on the ear, a marinade of fluttering guitars (picked acoustic, strummed electric) seasoned with a soupçon of keyboard. Yet it's desperately touching, ringing with couplets that manage to be original without ever sounding arch, or forced, and it's all the more believable for its self-deprecating humour: "Last Sunday, I heard myself say / "A good day for you is a good day for me" / Can't believe I've sunk this low..." Each of these elements render it, if you like, a *typical* Sugargliders song, although that undersells it rather: the execution is simply masterful. You can see why, as soon as the boys got their mitts on the master tape, they *ran* to Clare and Matt's to play it to them. "90 Days of Moths and Rust", taken from their last 45, is next. A tad subdued in comparison to "Ahprahran", at first it seems a little understated to appear so early on in a "greatest hits" celebration, but when it comes the skyward chorus (from which the compilation takes its title) proves well worth the wait, and suddenly *everything* makes sense. "90 Days" is followed by "Seventeen", which was their second Sarah single. At the time, it grabbed us even more than its predecessor, as well as marking the most Go-Betweensy song yet released on the label. "Seventeen" was ample demonstration that the Orchids were not the only band on Sarah who strived for (the) lazy perfection: charting the emotional rollercoaster of teenage years, it's a mazy mélange of mellow embrace and drama-riven heartache ("never so scared... take me with you"). We were fortunate enough to see the Sugargliders perform the song at the Jericho Tavern in Oxford when we were still (just about) teenagers ourselves. Like many a Sarah night, especially Sarah nights on cold winter evenings, it was one of those gigs which radiated happiness... that, at this distance, prompts *goosebumps*. "Trumpet Play" keeps those A-sides coming. When the Sarah story began to unfurl with "Pristine Christine" back in '87, we feel reasonably confident that they would not have envisaged releasing a single a few years later that opened with nightclub chatter, settled into a relaxed nocturnal groove, sampled the sound of glasses clinking and pivoted on a human trumpet solo: but by now, such things felt almost natural (frankly, after fellow countrymen Even As We Speak's gleeful "Beautiful Day", anything was possible). "Trumpet Play" is joyful, elastic, and jazz-strummingly soulful. The first verse, not for the only time in a Sugargliders song, revolves around an 'all at sea' metaphor, and lines like "there's no-one out here / but the fish and me" could be a cheeky echo of labelmates Brighter's "Out to Sea" (you know, "the fish look up at me...") "Reinventing Penicillin", from the penultimate EP, "Will We Ever Learn ?" ushers us to the quarter-way mark. Starting a capella, it soon installs a winning shuffle-beat over sweetly spiralling guitars, but its narrator is stern, the lyrics tinged with an air of disappointment: "it's a typical mistake that anyone could make / but I'm expecting a lot from you". Talking of high expectations, it's then time to revisit that first Sarah 45, "Letter From A Lifeboat". Quite a coup, in retrospect. For a Sarah single, it felt louche, even funky. It didn't have the cold, hard, electronic sheen of the Field Mice's increasingly pointillist outings. Nor did it go straight for the pop jugular without passing "go", à la Heavenly. Instead, flourishing on a surging bass current and bobbing on a "black, black sea", it was warm, consoling and rewarded repeat plays. Years later, we dug it out when we travelled down from Perth to Cape Leeuwin to see the Southern and Indian oceans meet. It felt like *just* the right tune to listen to as we stared out in awe across the vast waters. Jumping from one end of the Sugargliders' Sarah discography to the other, we find "Yr Jacket", the third track on the last single. The closing number on any favourite band's swansong record can be strangely moving: a sensation compounded by "Yr Jacket"'s stark, sombre and minor-key nature. Adorned only by trills of guitar and trembling voice, it's probably the most naked and honest song the band recorded. By way of contrast, "Fruitloopin'" (from the "Seventeen" EP), *springs* into life: a joyous whoop of "Hey!" transporting us back to (relatively) upbeat indie-pop pickings. It must have been recorded only a year or so before "Yr Jacket", but there's an ocean between them: compared to "Yr Jacket", "Fruitloopin'" is a treatise from happier, more youthful times. The added irony is that "Fruitloopin'" tackles ageing, but seen through a young man's eyes: the juxtaposition of the two tracks tells you just how quickly the Sugargliders grew up. "A Nest With A View" continues with "Unkind", a nugget from "Trumpet Play": recorded in England with White Town's Jyoti Mishra, it's an ode to purity and shyness that clocks in at a mere 53 seconds. It precedes a scenic detour to a couple of the group's earlier 7"s, which were recorded for seminal Melbourne indie Summershine prior to the long flirtation with Sarah. "Give Me Some Confidence" was the lead track on their third and last Summershine single, the "Furlough" EP. It's also the first song on this comp that was completely new to us, and well, what a discovery: eschewing the grooving bass vibes they would later trademark, this is a number more in the traditional, bouncing indie-pop mould (it's hard to hear it now and not think of cousin Tali's Lucksmiths, another legendary Melbourne combo, who would support the Sugargliders a few times on their own way up). In its wake - and taking us into the second half of the CD - comes "Police Me", taken from the Sugargliders' second Summershine single, the "Butterfly Soup" 7". Again, the song is a revelation, brilliant and poppy but also bristlingly defiant: "someone said that 'Flag Day' reads like fifth-form poetry / but I'll write songs about injustice / if that is what I see all around me." It's their "Sensitive", their "if the sun going down / can make me cry" moment, their early statement of positive intent. "Aloha Street" provides a bridge from the Summershine years back to the Sarah days in that it's an early Sugargliders work, but one that came out c/w, and thus completes the selections from, "Seventeen". Its depiction of a relationship born in haste (and repented of at leisure) is rounded off neatly by a strangled yelp and a squall of guitar before "Will We Ever Learn?", another smash-hit Sarah single, takes command. On this doozy, the Sugargliders are fired-up: the stylings are more scratchy than sweet, the guitars clearly mean business and there's palpable anger rattling around. Actually, with its gargantuan hooks, frissons of distortion and vaguely Smiths-ish break it's the kind of song - every Sarah band had one - which even our mates, who generally treated the label with outright derision, would condescend to damn with faint praise. Ironic, really, that it could be regarded a "crossover" song in that way, as of course one of the things it's about is staying true to your school and not touting for a wider market: that's the reason the boys are so exercised... "Why should I swap this thing... for some line as predictable as a tired Mark Seymour lyric ?" That pricks us, just as Brighter did with the lament of "So You Said": "you said you'd change the world... what happened to the things you believed once ?" But it resonates equally with the fierce ideals that drove "Police Me" and "Furlough", that ignited the Sugargliders from the beginning. Anyway. A sense of bitterness carries through to "Beloved" (another Jyoti-produced song from "Trumpet Play"): if the music is more becalmed, the words are quite the opposite ("can't forgive... can't forget... no second chances"). Happily, such sentiments are turned on their heads by "Corn Circles", originally on the B-side of "Ahprahran" (along with the splendid "Theme From Boxville", which is not included here, but isthankfully available on "Gaol Ferry Bridge", meaning you can download it for the price of one-and-a-bit first class stamps, and should). "Corn Circles" is, as you'd anticipate, both blooming (a tale of the kindling of romance) and golden, with dual vocals that dovetail gorgeously, but it's also as tender and wistful as any Sugargliders number, ending with a shout-back to the imploring 'come get me' call of "Seventeen" ("my mind is ripe, so come on, take me"). "What We Had Hoped" is up next. It hails from "Letter From A Lifeboat", but unlike the EP's title track, it's sallow, muted, stripped-down and sad, dealing ultimately with the dashing of dreams. As someone whose own memories of Melbourne are bittersweet (a five-year relationship ended by being given the elbow one long, dry night in St Kilda), I confess to my own intimate tête-a-têtes with this song over the years. When the Sugargliders chose to write heartbreakers, boy could they... Ahem. "Everybody Supermarket" is very different; indeed, something of an outlier. Partly, this is because it's the only track not drawn from one of the Sugargliders' own EPs, instead featuring on a 1992 various artists 7". But it's a little offbeat, too - more clumsy than elegant - an engagingly turbulent mix of lo-fi strum, seize-the-day principle, tinny drum machine and spoken word reflection, as if the young Field Mice had fallen in love with Messthetics over a bottle of Bristol cream and a 4-track. More accessible is "Another Faux Pas (In The Cathedral Of Love)", an A-side on Brighton's Marineville Records (Fat Tulips, Confetti, Jane POW), sandwiched in time between the Sugargliders' outings for Summershine and Sarah. It's their "You Be Illin'", we suppose: all bands should have at least one faux pas song. Funny and self-effacing, it may only be skin-deep, but eloquently displays their lighter side. (My own faux pas for these purposes is that I had a girlfriend who was rather taken by "Sway", which appeared on the flip of this 7", so I foolishly gave her my copy of the single. I wish I hadn't now, obviously, but I can only hope she treasures it like I would have done, and hasn't instead sold it on eBay and used the proceeds to buy a house). The song right on its heels - wouldn't you know it - is "Sway". Which, it transpires, was in fact their first single, even though we'd first encountered it as a B-side. Laid-back, sassy, and strewn appetisingly with harmonica, "Sway" sounds a very assured début to these ears. The words are poignant (the sign-off is "when a broken promise stings you badly, you sometimes have to close your eyes / and just sway") and somewhat marvellously the tune gets hijacked late-on by a thrilling injection of noisy guitar (not unlike the way the Field Mice, back then, often threw in a disconcerting new layer of fuzz for extra effect). It's fitting that - in common with the last song on their last record - this first song from their first record floats serenely, shorn of percussion: the focus is all on the jostling guitars and plaintive voices. But perhaps the *very* best (yes, even pipping "Aphrahran") is saved for last. We vividly recall the first time we heard "Top 40 Sculpture", in our student room over Emden quad, and thinking how - somehow - the Sugargliders had managed to ascend to another level. And how, after singing "Saturdays can still provide some comfort..." they sang something that sounded like "lately Allison / carry along my goal", and *that* got us in a further tizzy because we wondered whether they were following Tramway's example and shoehorning-in a Bristol Rovers reference (yes, it sounds barking mad now, but bear in mind that Sarah Records were from Bristol, [Malcolm] Allison was Rovers' boss around that time, the Sugargliders were sports fans, and we were young and stupid,...) and only when "There And Back Again Lane" came out did the sleevenotes proclaim the actual words: "Laidley - Allison - Carey - Longmire - goal!" and that was even better, a shout to North Melbourne and to another code, and that line especially makes us smile every single time, even more than the beautiful overlapping vocals, the tremendous lyrics, the *divine* trumpet sound. And though we'd have *hated* to think it then, it was right that "Top 40 Sculpture" was the last Sugargliders single, because it was probably untoppable. It's been another soundtrack to our own life changes, too: "See the things you thought were ever constant, disappearing fast." And that's it. Some twenty songs - just like the rather becoming Hit Parade retrospective! - that pass by oh-so fast. It's astonishing how Josh and Joel summoned up quite so many storming compositions within such a short window of time. Yes, the brothers and many of their collaborators in the Sugargliders would go on to make oodles of other truly cherishable records with the Steinbecks (off-the-top-of-the-head top five: "1987+1994=2007", "Which Part Of No Don't You Understand ?", "Are You Guys Into Wings ?", "No Strings, No Money, No Worries" and their cover of the Go-B's "Draining The Pool For You"), and one hopes, in future, that the Steinbecks - who were less prolific, recorded more albums than singles and didn't have the caché of having been on Sarah - will get their due, but for the time being we are here to honour the Sugargliders, and "A Nest With A View" does that in spades. That it works so well, nearly two decades after their final release, attests to the alchemy that we always suspected, secretly *knew*, was at play. It confirms that Matt and Clare's communiqué - remember, at the time, new bands on Sarah were regarded by some acolytes with a certain fear, even hostility - was absolutely on point. That's a tribute to the Meadows brothers, yes, but it's also a testament to Sarah Records, who were rarely content to rest on their laurels. The relationship between band and label, with their shared worldview, "no sell out" philosophy, and conviction that shyness, heart and melody could sound rebellion as powerfully as any agit-prop, was always symbiotic: and it wasn't too long after the Sugargliders split at the seeming peak of their powers, citing the need to quit while they were ahead, that SARAH 100 marked the not dissimilar implosion of the label. These postcards from the past show how Sarah and the Sugargliders were lucky to have had each other. And, beyond any doubt, that there really was something in the striving that was worth holding on to.   --In Love With These Times In Spite Of These Times
One of the more prolific bands in the second wave to appear on the seminal U.K. indie pop label Sarah Records, the Sugargliders were two brothers (Josh and Joel Meadows) who hailed from Australia and blanketed the shops with an impressive run of singles. Filled with witty and heartfelt lyrics, catchy minor-key melodies, and Josh’s achingly pure vocals, the duo’s songs fit in perfectly with the Sarah esthetic but also added twists like the occasionally danceable beat and a sometimes very forceful and direct lyrical/vocal delivery. This collection gathers up songs from the six singles they released for Sarah between 1992 and 1994, and adds a few from the singles done for Australian label Summershine in 1990-1991 and the U.K. label Marineville in 1991. While completists may have wished for a double-disc collection that had everything the band put out during this time span, the 20 tracks selected do a fine job of summing up the thoughtful, heart-rending pop charms the duo unfailingly displayed throughout their short career.   --All Music Guide
I first encountered Melbourne, Australia’s Sugargliders sometime in the 1990′s on a Sarah Records compilation called Engine Common that I bought from Go! Records in Arlington, Virginia. It wasn’t love at first listen though. I remember thinking Fruitloopin’ was just a little too twee for me but interesting and catchy. Letter from a Lifeboat was also on that compilation and had this weird lo-fi sampled beat and mildly funky guitar that I kinda liked. Those two songs stood out on that compilation and I made a mental note to look out for this mysterious Australian band. Time passed. Living in the U.S. in the 90′s you had to actually seek this stuff out, which I neglected to do. More time passed. 1994 came and went and brothers Joel and Josh Meadows who were the Sugargliders decided to quit being the Sugargliders and start being the Steinbecks. Another year went by and Sarah Records closed up shop. Then one sunny southern California afternoon in the late 90′s I dusted off that old Sarah compilation that I bought back in Arlington and rediscovered the Sugargliders. All of a sudden their earnest and wistful acoustic songs sung in a heavy Australian accent connected with me. I went on a Sugargliders binge, scouring record shops, ebay and email lists for their, by that time, out of print catalog. I found enough to satiate myself. The Trumpet Play EP with its lite funk, Blueboy-esque guitar and smile inducing faux trumpet solo was procured. Then I lucked out at some dusty store in L.A. that I forget the name of and found the Ahprahran, Top 40 Sculpture and Will We Ever Learn? EP’s. I ended up stealing some of their songs that came out on Summershine singles (before they signed to Sarah) from Audiogalaxy because they were impossible to find. I put everything I had onto a CD that kept in my car for a few years until it started to fade and decay they way CD-r’s do in a hot car. I miss that CD. Now thanks to Matinée Records, a scavenger hunt and a home-made CD-r is no longer necessary to get a Sugargliders fix. The Santa Barbara label has just released a Sugargliders compilation entitled A Nest With a View that plucks the best songs from both their Summershine and Sarah releases. It’s not everything, but it’s the best with one or two missing gems that if you get bitten will have you on the internet ordering records from far off places. Happy hunting!   --The Finest Kiss
During the first half of the 1990s when cult Australians The Sugargliders were active, I was entering my teens and beginning to explore beyond the reaches of daytime radio fodder, seeking out collage-rock and grunge from the US as well as delving into the British indie scene that would soon, for better or worse, develop into Britpop. Evening radio schedules became essential; Steve Lamacq followed by John Peel followed by Mark Radcliffe became an important routine and a route to discovering weird and wonderful emerging sounds that you wouldn't normally hear. Indiepop was a big part of it, yet somehow the handful of singles and solitary album from the brothers Meadows and co. managed to pass me by, and despite two more decades of trawling music's hidden corners and forgotten scenes, this welcome retrospective is acting as my personal introduction to the band. So how to judge it? As a museum piece? As a flashback to a bygone era? Or approach it the same way you would with any new album? Surely the latter is the most sensible, fair and objective way. After all, it's not as though they instigated a scene and left a legacy that still reverberates through modern music today. They had an individual sound for sure, but one that belonged to a chain of guitar-pop bands that existed for years before them and bands that are creating similar sounds to this day. What is overwhelmingly apparent is the timelessness of these songs; they don't sound dated one tiny little bit. If you knew no better you'd have no reason to believe this wasn't a brand new, fresh-faced group setting out on their mission to craft some decent pop music. Another point that should be made is just how consistent they were, even on this extensive 20 track compilation there are no weak links. Most of the originally released music is here, from lovably stripped-down jangle of debut single 'Sway' through to the ever so slightly more experimental swansong of 'Top 40 Sculpture'. Perhaps the most telling point to be made about 'A Nest With A View' is that although extensive it doesn't feel overlong. The sunshine-pop begins with the excellent 'Ahprahran' and it doesn't set until the very end. They successfully flirt with some bigger beats on 'Reinventing Penicillin' and the slightly twee 'Give Me Some Confidence' is another highlight on a record with many. It's the simplistic innocence and delicious melodies that make The Sugargliders sound so moreish. It feels like a shame that they passed me by when they were a going concern, but this near impeccable compilation goes a long way to making up for the missed opportunity. If you're a long-time fan then enjoy the memories, but if you're a fellow newcomer then make sure you don't let these gorgeous tunes pass you by.   --The Sound of Confusion
Writing about a compilation is no easy task, especially when the output of said band, The Sugargliders in this case, was so limited, especially to ears on American soil. Luckily for us, the hardworking folks over at Matinée Recordings have just released A Nest With a View, a collection of the Melbourne group’s singles and their one LP from 1990-1994. If you’re looking to get your hands on a classic indie pop record that sounds just as relevant today as it did when it originally was released, then this is precisely the album for you. “Ahprahran” begins our re-introduction to The Sugargliders, basically the project of the young Meadows brothers. What struck me on this first track is how much I can see this being a vital part of any indie pop collection in the present day. String arrangements accentuate the incredible melody, and the fact that the guitar sounds like it’s being carefully picked rather than strung only thrills me more. It’s not the only standout track, in fact, most of these tracks hold up well on their own, but my current favorite is “Letter from a Lifeboat.” There’s this minimal percussive element, and the guitar is carefully picked from the opening minute, almost like a classical guitar player. Then the Meadows brothers combine their vocals to craft this fluid harmony that continues to fascinate me the more I play it. But, for all my love of the aforementioned tracks, there’s plenty within the confines of A Nest With a View to capture your ears. I like how “Sway” opens with this wayward harmonica, crafting a melancholy time that’s reinforced by the lyrical content of a person moving on from their loved one. You also have to appreciate the earnestness of the songwriting in “Police Me,” a song that reaches its climax when the lyric of “it’s true” is shouted amidst the intricate guitar playing of the group. Of course, I’m always a sucker for added instrumentation like horns and strings, such as those little flourishes you find on the final track, “Top 40 Sculpture.” I know that not everyone has the same fascination I do with brilliant indie pop music, but I’m glad that modern technology allows us to go back in time and expose the heart and soul of the movement. I’m always amazed at the work accomplished by bands like The Sugargliders long ago, and although it’s nearly two decades from their time, it still sounds every bit as relevant in today’s genre. A Nest With a View is an exquisite snapshot of a band that left us with a brief career, but one that, as evidenced here, surely stands the test of time. You can only say that about the greatest of tunes.   --Austin Town Hall
For vinyl fans, the early '90s were dark times. Thankfully, a handful of independent labels like Sarah saved the 7" single from extinction. While thumbing through a stack of 45s at that time, you couldn't help but stop when you got to the Sugargliders. The sleeves were absolutely beautiful in their simplicity. Cool name. All lower case. Typewriter print. Great colors and art. Who were these guys? Well, the brothers, Josh and Joel Meadows, were on Sarah. So, they had to be good. For the most part, in the ensuing 20 years, if you wanted to own a piece of the Sugargliders, you had to make a major investment for a used 7" from some smug record collector. Well, Matinée Recordings has made life easier (and much cheaper) with the just released 20-track compilation A Nest With A View 1990-1994.   --Linear Tracking Lives
Many of the bands that were on the U.K.'s Sarah label are spoken about in hushed tones these days. Though the label has been gone for years it has many fanatics who discuss which band on the label was their favorite and other such minutiae. The Sugargliders, led by brothers Josh and Joel Meadows, were Australia's entry on the label (Even As We Speak, too). The band called it a day in the mid-‘90s and the brother went on to fame and fortune in another pop band, The Steinbecks. Though the Sarah material (and the later Summershine stuff) has been out of print for years the Matinee label, a longtime supporter of Sarah bands and its offshoots, have stepped up to the plate (along with the Pop Boomerang label in Australia) and offered up this 20 song collection that spans, as the title says, 1990-1994 and collects many of the best moments from their singles. Opener "Ahprahran" is slow and languid and one of their best songs while "Give Me Some Confidence," "Reinventing Penicillin" and "Seventeen" are three other long lost gems that deserve to be heard by a new generation of pop fans (there's plenty more on here, too). The Meadows Brothers weren't shooting for the stars, but rather a simple, honest approach to songwriting that would connect with the youth of Melbourne and abroad and that they did.   --Blurt
Begun by Melbourne's Josh and Joel Meadows when they were teenagers, The Sugargliders were a DIY, mostly self-taught effort that produced honest, original, unpretentious pop songs about the things that mattered to them. Nowhere in their catalog of ten vinyl singles and one album does the listener sense that a song was imitating some other group, or following a trend to capture chart placement. They had a four-year run from 1990-1994, with releases on Summershine Records in their home country and Sarah Records in the UK and a stint living in the UK. The Meadows brothers were joined from time to time by Marc Fulker (drums) and Robert Cooper (The Earthmen). And then they were done. Fortunately for we guitar pop fans, Popboomerang Records in Australia and Matinée Recordings in the US have joined to issue a 20-track compilation of The Sugargliders, A Nest With A View 1990 -1994. Warm guitars and clean, simple and affecting melodies. This is a compilation that can fill your fall days with the music you need.   --When You Motor Away
I first heard The Sugargliders on the now legendary International Pop EP way back in around 1991, I think. I am pretty sure I ordered it from the infamous Steve Biscuit along with some other items. I miss my posts about Steve Biscuit. He was a real character. I absolutely loved Everybody Supermarket but in those times it was difficult to find much information about bands, unless you stumbled across a piece in a fanzine. Consequently, I quite often think of songs as just entities on their own and forget that the group who recorded the song would ever go on to write more songs. I guessed that they might be Australian from the sound of the vocals and was aware that a burgeoning scene was developing with some great bands recording songs for fun with no thought of commercial success. I didn't quite realise how prolific The Sugargliders were until I saw the tracklisting of the compilation now available from the wonderful Matinée Records. An impressive body of work.   --Please Rain Fall
E' una cartolina del passato quella che ci ritroviamo fra le mani. Una di quelle cartoline che ci ricordavamo di avere una volta ma che avevamo messo in un baule tanto tempo fa e chissà poi in quale angolo della cantina era finita. Ogni tanto ci tornava in mente: una cartolina, ne più ne meno, che avevamo sullo specchio in camera, o in un libro, un diario, o sul muro, che ci faceva sorridere o piangere a seconda dei momenti, gentile o malinconica, dai toni pastello che ci si perdeva un pò guardandola. Poi l'abbiamo mssa via. Ha lasciato il posto magari a cose più sgargianti, vivide, brillanti o perchè no, ad altre immagini, ritagli, pezzi di carta che hanno finito per coprirlo quello specchio, o per riempire quel diario o quel muro, ma non la memoria. E la Matinée Recordings ci invita a riaprirlo qul baule, con il modo di fare aggraziato che da sempre contraddistingue questa magnifica etichetta discografica. Sembra che ci dicano: "Te la ritroviamo noi quella cartolina, ci mettiamo noi a cercare per te, perchè il passato merita la tua (nostra) attenzione, perchè quella dolcezza, quel sorriso, quel cuore che batteva forte non può e non deve essere dimenticato". La raccolta degli Sugargliders mi immagino sia nata così, per riportare alla luce quell' immagine, perchè adesso è il momento di fermarsi e guardare indietro. Il sogno di due fratelli australiani, Joel and Josh Meadows, che negli anni '90 colpivano i nostri sentimenti con linee pulite di chitarra, ritmiche dolcemente ballabili e testi chiari e toccanti. Nuovi gruppi, nuovi suoni, nuove sensazioni: tutto è mutevole e in divenire, certo. Ci capita e ci capiterà spessissimo di essere rapiti da qualcosa in particolare per un pò, ma quello che la Sarah Records ha fatto non potrà mai essere cancellato dalla memoria di noi appassionati e chi, come la Matinèe, svolge questo certosino lavoro di recupero, beh, non può che meritare tutta la nostra ammirazione. Anche in questo caso, "A Nest With A View 1990-1994" racchiude canzoni e gemme pop prese dalla discografia degli Sugargliders, sparse in origine in 7" oggi di difficilissma, se non impossibile, reperibilità. 20 brani, che non sai neanche nominare quale sia il più bello perchè ogni canzone vive, splende e consuma calore e sentimenti in egual misura. Io non riesco a smettere di sentire Sway, chitarra, armonica e voce, con quella coda così rumorosa e poi Will We Ever Learn? che sembra una cosa uscita dalla penna di primordiali Smiths, ma mi accorgo di citare queste due canzoni giusto perchè non voglio eleggere a mia preferita 90 Days of Moths and Rust che spinge letteralmente alle lacrime come solo l' East River Pipe più ispirato potrebbe fare. Sono sicuro che ogni ascoltatore di questa raccolta avrà il suo pezzo del cuore e ritroverà in questi brani, tutti rimasterizzati, prima o poi quella cartolina tralasciata, ma che ancora era così vivida, per riscoprirla indispensabile, come l'ossigeno. Ma non lo è, anche se produce lo stesso effetto, è pop, vero e semplice. E' POP.   --Troublezine
Se oggi vi volete crogiolare con un po’ di sano indiepop vecchio stampo, A Nest With A View potrebbe fare al caso vostro. È uscita infatti qualche giorno fa per la Matinée questa graziosa raccolta degli australiani The Sugargliders, che raccoglie un bel po’ di singoli usciti negli anni 90 per la celebre Sarah Records. Balsamico.   --Frigopop!
On ne remerciera jamais les gentils ré éditeurs de disques quand ils nous proposent des albums de cette trempe-là qu'on avait loupés en temps et en heure. The Sugargliders, ça vous dit quelque chose ? A part être un petit animal austral cousin de l'opossum, c'était un groupe de Melbourne qui a officié entre 1989 et 1994, réalisant 10 singles (donc 20 titres) compilés sur cet admirable « A nest with a view ». C'est de la pop boisée sans chantilly, quelques arpèges vous évoqueront peut-être les Commotions de Lloyd Cole, les harmonies de quelques ballades de « The Beautiful south. » Ça a bougrement bien vieilli, c'est varié et inspiré. A découvrir, car mieux vaut tard que jamais.
Vi ricordate i Sugargliders? Questo gruppo australiano, negli anni 90, pubblicò 10 singoli e un album in quattro anni con la leggendaria Sarah Records. I fratelli Josh e Joel Meadows partirono da Melbourne nel pieno dell'adolescenza, scrivendo semplici ed emozionanti canzoni pop, riuscendo a farsi conoscere presto dal pubblico internazionale. Ora, grazie alla Matinée Recordings ( Tender Trap, Azure Blue, Cats On Fire, Northern Portrait), è disponibile una retrospettiva di 20 canzoni, "A Nest With A View 1990-1994", rimasterizzate per l'occasione, di cui vi proponiamo un assaggio qui sotto. Josh ha dichiarato, riguardo al loro approdo alla Sarah: "E' stato un momento emozionante. Fu un periodo di scrittura furiosa, registrazione e pubblicazione di 7", suonando live in ogni occasione possibile. Non abbiamo mai avuto un piano aziendale e tutto il nostro marketing era veramente molto molto essenziale. Volevamo semplicemente fare musica pop ed esprimere le preoccupazioni che pesavano sui nostri cuori".   --Ondarock
Matineé Recordings ha vuelto a dar en el clavo al reeditar los diez singles que esta pareja de hermanos australianos llamados Josh y Joel Meadows y que se hicieron llamar The Sugargliders registraron en el breve periplo de cuatro años en los sellos Summershine Records (Australia) y Sarah Records (Reino Unido). Toda la esencia de su breve estancia en el mundo de la música está resumida en estos veinte temas de que consta la reedición que Matineé ha preparado para este final de año, casi veinte años después de que los temas aparecieran. La constante de ellos son esa sencillez Pop que The Sugargliders quisieron darle a sus temas: instrumentación y arreglos sencillos, buenas composiciones, economía de medios pero despliegue de creatividad. Sus canciones tienen el encanto del que comienza y la madurez y el poso de las grandes bandas. Os dejo los enlaces a Matineé Recordings y el sampler que el sello ha preparado para comercializar el disco, de donde puedes descargar Ahprahran.   --The Janglebox