Books On Fate - Memory (Cover Artwork)

Books On Fate

Memory (2012)


The spirit of late '80s / early '90s British indie-pop is very much alive and well in the form of San Francisco act Books On Fate, the solo moniker of Adam Dishart, formerly of the Catholic Comb.

Shades of Suede, wisps of The Smiths and a big dose of The Cure are the building blocks for Memory's rather lovely titular album opener, a wistful musing on "the things we must forget". Keen listeners will even hear a dash of theatrical posh-pop dandy Neil Hannon - AKA The Divine Comedy - in Dishart's fey, swooping vocal, which is half floppy-sleeved romantic, half preppy school boy. It's rather refreshing to hear an American vocalist singing in a quasi-English accent, as opposed to the other way round (which is how it usually works), but pleasingly, at the careful edge of Dishart's vocal is an unmistakable American twang that calls to mind Death Cab For Cutie's Ben Gibbard or Win Butler from the Arcade Fire.

Dishart veers out of tune now and again, though one can't help but wonder whether this is strangely intentional. Overall it's a thoroughly charming sound, a meandering comfort-blanket of a record infused with the scent of summer and woven together with a nostalgic fondness for the past ("of summers gone, when the nights were long, together we walked in the glowing dark, arm and arm down the old boardwalk" opines Dishard in "Impossible Nevers").

Memory doesn't break any new ground, but it will delight those of a certain generation yearning for decades past, and quite possibly turn younger listeners onto a golden era of pop.