Single Of The Week: The School – Never Thought I’d See the Day EP (Elefant)
By Mike Turner
The School are masters of handclaps and heartbreaks, tear-filled pillows and tambourine shakes.
The run-up single to their sophomore album Reading Too Much Into Things Like Everything is about as close to pop perfection as any band could reach. A four-song EP with two originals (which are also both featured on the long-player), ‘Never Thought I’d See The Day’, ‘Where Does Your Heart Belong?’, and two covers (Jonathan Richman’s ‘When She Kisses Me’ and The Honeydrips’ ‘I Wouldn’t Know What To Do’), will have you burning through record needles like matches. It’s second nature for these Cardiff kids to craft such musical gems.
The gender of the subject in the Jonathan Richman cover was changed from ‘she’ to ‘he’, but it doesn’t affect the overall feeling of the song. I think I would have liked it to stay the same, but not sure how true that would have been to the cotton candy (candy floss for our UK readers) 60s soul that The School seem to channel so well. Front woman and main songwriter, the adorable Liz Hunt, knows how to covey the wonder of falling head-over-heels only to end up being kicked to the curb, while never leaning too heavy on one or the other, so there is always a School song to cover whatever state you are in relationship-wise.
Sure, there are acts out there like Camera Obscura, The Carrots and Belle & Sebastian who have all sold these same wares, but with The School it’s different. One gets the feeling it’s not just the music, but a way of life for them. I can imagine them allotting plenty of time for working on their scooters, looking through charity shops for vintage polyester dresses, on the hunt for super smart coats and boots, while spending any spare money left over on hard to find Shure 50s microphones and small tube amps. There is no doubt in my mind had they been around in the 60s we’d know Liz Hunt in the same way we all know Sandie Shaw, Timi Yuro, Dusty Springfield, Twinkle, Lulu, and Petula Clark. However Liz is not waiting around for some man to write her songs, she does it all herself which is what sets The School. apart from their 60s influences.
So treat yourself to a single by what will be your next band crush and start saving up those pennies for the album.