I thought I’d add a segment to Neither Here Nor There, called “This Week’s Past Life,” which would feature albums from the past that readers may have forgotten, or god forbid, have never even heard of in the first place.
This Week’s Past Life:
American Analog Set: Know by Heart
2001, Tiger Style Records (defunct since 2004)
My first introduction to American Analog Set was their 1999 album The Golden Band. I was at the height of my shoe-gaze phase then, and their sound was part shoe-gaze, part post-rock, with just a touch of pop. Their droney sound and long instrumentals fit in perfectly with the moody kid I was in those days. I played that album until it skipped, and everyone who received a mixtape from me that year was introduced to the song “The Wait.” It was my favorite song on the album, well, tied with “Will the Real Danny Radnor Please Stand?” which was the last song on the album, and perfect placement for such a song, in my humble opinion. It was as though “Danny Radnor” was written to accompany the ending credits to a movie with one of those realistic endings: the one where the girl doesn’t get the boy, the kind I’ve always preferred.
In 2001, Know by Heart was released. In comparison to The Golden Band, it’s almost uplifting. Honestly, it took me awhile to truly embrace Know By Heart. I was devoted to the darker sounds and lyrics of The Golden Band, and when I listened to the two albums back-to-back, chronologically, I felt almost conflicted. “Will the Real Danny Radnor Please Stand?” left me feeling one way, but less than three seconds later, “Punk as Fuck,” the first song off Know by Heart, took me some place else… and eventually, I learned to love that some place else.
Song after song, I am in love with Know by Heart; and The American Analog Set kept their place in my heart by ending the album on yet another heartbreaking note with, “We’re Computerizing and We Just Don’t Need You Anymore” – the name alone says so much.
To this day, Know by Heart is in my top 25 favorite albums of all time. When I meet people who have never heard of them, or maybe who just don’t like AmAnSet, I seriously consider whether or not I can even be friends with them. I don’t think this is wrong of me at all… sometimes a girl has to have standards.
By: Amanda Chatel