There’s a delightful relief and resignation in not being (or needing to be) the cool kids anymore. It’s one of the best things about ageing. The point where you can log off from ‘trying to keep up’ and just be. It reaches different stages of your life at different times for different people. Nobody wants to be the Fonz right? You can’t truly be cool if you’re trying too hard. If you don’t care about scoring ‘points’, you can legitimately become a winner. For James Taylor (not that one) and Chloe Little it happened to their old band in 2018. No longer required to be edgelords or the next big thing they could get out of their high school grunge phase and start listening to Sparklehorse, The War On Drugs, The The and other luxury pop.
So it was that the members of twentyteens indie hopefuls INHEAVEN went their separate ways a couple of years back. As promising young guitar things go, this lot had it all. Noisy Pixie pop powers, Boy/Girl vocals, rabid mosh pits of frantic freshers and a nifty line in crushed velvet jumpsuits. Some how it was not to be. INHEAVEN went the way of so many coulda beens despite being an absolute Treat.
It’s that or they just wanted to dump their rhythm section and change the name of the band so they’d stop turning up for rehearsals. I’m going with the break up due to musical similarities theory.
Dream Pop. That’s where it’s at. That’s where Better Late Than Never finds Wings Of Desire. Their new band is named after the late 80’s (Hey) Win Wenders (Bah Bah Badah!) art house U2 pop video made full on feature film. It’s the one where angels walk among us. They look bored while smoking cigarettes on Berlin rooftops as we mere humans squander our opportunities for happiness and miss out on true love because we’re late for work beneath their Heavenly gaze. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it BTW.
The song is a mellow indie jangle jam that has a subtle but sticky hook. Easy and slopped with lo-fi slacker charm. The half spoken half sung vocal reminds me of Arcade Fire and Broken Social Scene in all the right ways. It’s not WOD’s first release either. There’s a shortish string of singles that invoke big ideas and the new directions connection to thoughtful contemplation. See the couple of tagged on vids below for details.
When James sings the “Were just getting older” refrain it’s both reassuring and a little sad. The bit about “Kids with guitars who are younger than me” reminds me of my university days. I was on a low in HMV one day when Ash were making waves with their debut LP and celebrating their GCSE results all over the NME. Meanwhile I was still trying to just get a job in a pub and rustle up enough coppers to pay for a bag of chips. I remember being 21 and thinking “did I miss my shot?” It looks to me like this dynamic duo have a fair few more twists to turn, songs to sing and shots to take. Based on INHEAVEN and now Wings of Desire, I’m all ears. Art house cinema indie is my (little green) bag.
Given the Pixies reference via Blue Velvet in the name of their last band it’s safe to say James and Chloe will either turn up in five years time playing in a funk band called Spanking The Monkey or work their way into a reformed 3 Colours Red if Chris McCormack ever gets the old band back together.