1981: Following a first 20 years spent in Paisley, Athens and Montreal where his father worked for the British Council, and having started University studies in Edinburgh and Aberdeen, Nicholas Currie dropped out to form a band. Not just any band: recruiting three ex-members of Josef K, including Malcolm Ross, the Happy Family signed to 4AD and released this EP in 1982. As such the band has a jerky, angular sound you would associate with the period. It’s fair to say that the presence of half of Josef K is probably what drew 4AD to sign them. The three songs included were the world’s first introduction to Currie’s lyrical ventures.

“Puritans” seems to be about a relationship that is falling apart, with the two lovers looking at others for the “secret they posses that’s barred from you and me”. It’s wistful and yearning. “Innermost Thoughts” is similarly doe eyed, seeming to describe a one-sided affair in which the male narrator’s lover is determined to run away to Australia, possibly to avoid the endless “talking like entries in diaries” (which is a very telling line). It’s wistful and yearning. Finally we have “The Mistake” (be kind), a young person’s lament about being shorn of money and prospects, which nevertheless ends with something approaching optimism : “Together we can build a home from hope”. It is, you will be astonished to hear, wistful and yearning.

So the lyrics here are a little naive, clearly those of someone yet to find a voice, yet to have a clear purpose in music and in thrall to recent artists in post punk. It’s a world full of earnest young men who write copious journals and read philosophy on the train to impress the ladies. Nothing wrong with that, but not enough to gather any cultural momentum at the time. However the band would continue to work on demos for an album, which appeared later that year, following line up changes. Of which anon…

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