Beat Happening Songs to Climb the Apple Tree By

For those starry-eyed indie popsters who couldn’t quite swing last year’s Crashing Through box set, check this ’84 to 2000 compilation of favourites and rarities from the esteemed martyrs of lo-fi bedroom rock. Refusing the notion that hyped and grandiose are always better, Beat Happening have been proving that a simple melody, an original idea and a lot of sincerity are the only necessary tools for success since their modest beginnings in ’83. Calvin Johnson and Heather Lewis’s similarly droning and perpetually monotone vocalisations on naïvely innocent adolescent boy meets girl stories are charming, never sickly saccharine. Their intonation sounds both jaded and apathetic, but an honest sweetness always reveals itself too quickly to make assumptions of bored, cool characters. The bass-less guitar and drums combo is contently stark and unadorned, but maintains a feeling of completeness that has become characteristic of the trio. It’s just the right stuff combined in the warmest way that’ll keep you locked in your bedroom for hours, stirring up some small storm or quiet revolution. (K)