#2. Broadcast – Long Was The Year (2000)
The first track of the album. A statement of intent, something that pulls you into its tender arms. This is what ‘Long Was The Year’ does. The intro, fading in, confirmation that this is to be a highly cinematic record. Think arthouse pacing, oblique camera angles, a young woman – delicate features, pretty frock – climbing a grand, spiral staircase; it’ll be 1967 or ’69, she’ll be French, and madly in love with her literature professor or something – this is what ‘Long Was The Year’ does.
And then the vocal kicks in, Trish Keenan’s lovely, far away voice. The hint of fragility, of detachment, of a sadness. Like all the best Broadcast songs, it floats above the music, an exercise in equilibrium. I’ve been thinking of words to describe their sound; a phrase such as Betamax Parisian Soundscape is regrettably clunky, but it exudes the sense of atmosphere that I’m searching for (it’s what ‘Long Was The Year’ does). Poignant records; influenced by intelligent electronica, The United States of America (see yesterday’s words), La Nouvelle Vague. The first non-exclusively electronic act to sign to iconic label Warp, the sound grew sparser (but no less interesting) as the 2000s played out, partly as a result of the reduction from a five piece to a duo of Trish and James Cargill. Trish Keenan sadly passed away earlier this year at a stupid young age, stripping the planet of a fascinating and detailed aesthetic, but the haunting undertones of Broadcast’s canon remain just as striking. The Noise Made By People is an album as statement – complex, brooding, strangely animated and decidedly beguiling – and ‘Long Was The Year’ is its cornerstone.
Broadcast / Long Was The Year