January 26, 2012

Early '90s Flashback : An amazing band you probably never heard back in the day.

Earwig (UK band). There isn't a whole lot to be found about this band via the web but I did find this on YouTube:

"An air of mystery surrounds the indie trio Earwig and the few records they released from 1991 to 1992 on the small indie label La Di Da, based in their hometown of Hove, near Brighton, England. 

Earwig were Kirsty Yates, Julian Tardo and Dimitri Voulis.

The band released three 12" EPs and an album titled "Under My Skin I am Laughing". The album - as well as the only single taken from it, "Everyday Shines" - received reasonably good reviews in both NME and Melodymaker. The band developed and refined a quite distinctive sound during it's existence by using both sequencers and electronics with more conventional instruments, to build introvert and claustrophobic pop songs about obsessive relationships and conflicting images of the self in an intimate personal drama."

What I personally know about them is this. In the early '90s I didn't relate to Riot Grrrl deeply and my female musician idols were not outwardly feminists but rather band members who happen to be female. (Lush, Jawbox, Superchunk, Velocity Girl, Scarce, Helium, MBV, and Swirlies to name a few examples)

A sales rep from Revolver Distribution back in the early '90s (I was working at a record store at the time). turned me on to Earwig and I managed to collect a few of their records during those brief years. Earwig never seemed to gain any real momentum with the masses and when I talk about favorite bands that feature women with music geeks, this is a group that few serious music nerds who pride themselves on knowing it all,  have ever heard of. It kills me because they are so good, so worth knowing about but their music is quite difficult to come by to this day so I guess that I shouldn't be completely shocked that remain a secret to this day.

Earwig as a trio are minimal but they still manage to be loud. They are filled with tension and energy but not in a predictable, overdriven theatrical way like Hole or Babes in Toyland. Think cool melodies ALA the Breeders or Velocity Girl but with an early electronic twist that remind me of modern day Morr Records artists like Lali Puna or  Ms. John Soda. I was inspired by Earwig  because they opened my ears to a new style of abstracted rage that that sounded completely fresh but even more importantly like something that with enough practice I might be able learn how to recreate on some level. I am terrible at naming all the band who have influenced me along the way as a musician but I can say with total confidence that Earwig is among that list. Even more exciting to me is that their songs still sound as important, beautiful, and raw as ever.

In fact, if by some stroke of dumb luck and ex member or friend to the band reads this I would kill to know more about the band and would seriously give my right arm to help reissue their catalog. (I have a small record label) These songs are too important to go unheard. I am totally serious. Calling all members of Earwig, I want to reissue you first three EPs. Pretty please? Pipe dream aside, it feels good to share a post about a band who has been important to me for not one but two decades.



  1. I was at Sussex University at the same time as these guys (1988 onwards) and heard their early efforts in the corridors of the hall of residence, but haven't seen them since then. But this might help you get in touch: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/juliantardo

  2. Thank you so much for the lead - cheers!

  3. They also made an album under the name Insides album title Euphoria which has a different sound more electronic kinda laid back...its one of my favorites. They also did a follow up under this band name which has a couple songs that are good. :)