Album: Travellers in Space & Time, 2010
Justification: It’s not often that a band gets a serious shot in the arm 18-odd years into their career, but that’s what happened with the lo-fi indie pop collective the Apples (later the Apples (in stereo), then finally what’s at the top of the page), and all it took was years of public indifference, a divorce and the patronage of a movie star. Dreams DO come true!
See, Robert Schneider had pulled the band together initially as part of the Elephant 6 collective, a group of like-minded childhood buddies who pooled their resources to buy recording equipment, initially consisting of Schneider, Jeff “Neutral Milk Hotel” Magnum, Bill “Olivia Tremor Control” Doss and Will Cullen Hart (who played in OTC and did most of the label’s artwork) but going on to spawn the likes of Beulah, Of Montreal, Elf Power and a bunch of other awesome things. For most of the Apples’ existence the core of the band was Schneider and drummer Hilarie Sidney, but when their marriage ended in the early 00s she quit and Schneider changed the band’s direction dramatically, mainly by getting a – let’s be fair – really good drummer in the form of John Dufilho.
This is also around the time when Elijah Wood, flush with all the Lord of the Rings money, decided to start his own record label. This was the second album the Apples have done with Wood’s label Simian, and he stars in the above video if you haven’t bothered to click on it yet. Honestly, do I have to do everything?
Anyway, this is a glorious piece of pop confection with marvellously grim undertones, from the minor key progression to the chorus’ assertion that the dance floor “…isn’t there no more”. Remember: growing up means growing old, kids.
I interviewed Schneider ahead of his solo Australian tour where he was the last thing I ever saw at the Hopetoun, and he was a joy. The man’s a very accomplished mathematician and talked a whole lot about building instruments to play the logarithmic scale he’d invented, which was a lot more interesting than it might sound.
SONG YOU SHOULD HAVE REDISCOVERED THIS TIME IN 2010: Grandaddy’s magnificent ‘Summer Here Kids’.