The Trembling Blue Stars are lead by former Field Mice frontman and Northern Picture Library member Bobby Wratton. They were meant to be a one album side project, but such was the success of Her Handwriting the debut album, Wratton drafted a band. The songs deal with Wratten’s deteriorating relationship and subsequent break-up with former girlfriend and Field Mice band member Annemari Davies. A sensitive melodrama evolves in this album.
Just as Wratten seems locked in a relationship that no longer exists, the Trembling Blue Stars are in a Sarah Records time warp. This is not a bad thing in my view, but it is as if the last decade never happened. It has the distinct qualities that your would expect from a former Field Mice member. Sometimes I Still Feel the Bruise has a tiny piece of synth on it. To Leave It Now has a French voice over (slightly pretentious) . The whole album is mostly at a slow tempo, heart breaking lyrics, melancholy and very beautiful melodies.
What originally drew me to this album was the single from this Dark Eyes. It was more radio friendly than the rest of the album and the most akin to The Field Mice
Dismissed by Pitchfork as fey-pop (I never rated that site). Many other reviews cite this album as depressing; ‘oh come on’ I spent my pre-teens in a household that listened to Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan and then I discovered Joy Division. This is not depressing. But the psychiatric couch of Bobby Wratton
Trembling Blue Stars : Broken By Whispers
She Just Couldn’t Stay
Sometimes I Still Feel The Bruise
To Leave It Now
I No Longer Know Anything
Back To You
Another dose of wrenching heartbreak and despair. To add to the momentous sadness Bobby Wrattons’s former love and Field Mice member Anne Mari Davies appears here too. There are some electro touches here, namely Tailspin. This is a completely different level to the synth used on the The Field Mice’s Triangle. It is more of a house dance groove song than the Trembling Blue Stars having a cursory dance track. The album was engineered by Ian Catt (multi instrumentalist and Saint Etienne touring band member), and he is responsible for the new direction. The Rainbow has even some trip hop bleeps, which sit beautifully on the song and doesn’t seem out of place.
They still stick to their indiepop roots in Made for Each Other. It still doesn’t raise a smile, but is some of
the most beautiful music around.
Trembling Blue Stars : Lips That Taste of Tears
All I Never Said
Never Loved You More
Made For Each Other
Letter Never Sent
I’m Tired, I’ve Tried
You’ve Done Nothin Wrong Really
Never Loved You More 2
Cecilia In Black And White
Farewell To Forever
Bathed In Blue is the second single/EP from the Trembling Blue Stars ﬁfth album, The Seven Autumn Flowers. Clocking in at over half an hour long it is more of a mini album. It opens with the ﬁrst version of The Sea Is So Quiet, the title is misleading. I was expecting a sombre ballad of melancholy, but instead it is a jangly upbeat song. This is one of the few times that the Trembling Blue Stars have done this. The other version of The Sea Is So Quiet is a longer version, the vocals do not kick in till halfway through. It starts oﬀ very slowly, building up atmosphere. Not as jangly as other version. The Silence And Games is sung by Annemari Davies sounding like Strawberry Switchblade without the tinny background melody. Bobby Wratton’s love for the Cure can clearly be seen if the fourth track, darkly goth vocals and a little bit of electronica in the background. The Cure theme is carried on in the rest of the EP. In Branches there is a harpsichord or a very tinny piano, the only other song that I can think of with a harpsichord is, The Field Mice, This is not Here. If you were expecting something similar you would be disappointed, the harpsichord sounds like it is being played in a horror ﬁlm score.
Trembling Blue Stars : Bathed in Blue
The Sea Is So Quiet
Through The Silence And Games
The Sea Is So Quiet (Long Version)
This Is Bliss