The Bluebells, "Exile on Twee Street"

I spent some time over the weekend exploring the Bluebells' discography and think they're the perfect band with which to begin your week.

Okay, so maybe "discography" is a little misleading or inaccurate; they only released one official album. They did put out a good number of singles, however, and they certainly committed a lot to tape; the Cherry Red compilation that came out in 2014, Exile on Main Street, includes twenty cuts.

Compared often to Scotish peers, compatriots, friends Orange Juice and Aztec Camera, they had the makings of another jangly, twee, and well-dressed indie pop act from the era, but they had a few characteristics that set them apart, namely their penchant for blue-eyed soul sounds and  folky psychedelica that you'd be more likely to hear on Byrds albums of the 60s than, say, Josef K 7-inches.

Spotify doesn't have Sisters, the debut full-length, but they do have the singles collection and Second, a compilation of A-sides, B-sides, and some unreleased material that originally only came out in (surprise, surprise) Japan. It's the Exile comp I'm most into, however, as it presents the band as they were in their infancy, which is a little more compelling and endearing to me than the arguably (or understandably?) half-baked stuff that came after. I'm getting the impression these guys broke up for a reason.

A few final notes: many tracks ("Aim in Life," "All I Ever Said," "Everybody's Somebody's Fool," "Some Sweet Day," "Happy Birthday (Turn Gold)," "Will She Always Be Waiting," and "Wishful Thinking") were produced (or coproduced) by Elvis Costello; their biggest hit, "Young At Heart," was written by Bananaram's Siobhan Fahey, and originally appeared in a rather different form on their (excellent) debut LP, Deep Sea Skiving.