Brighter Singles 1989-1992

California’s Matinée Recordings is the truest contemporary equivalent to Sarah Records, the late, lamented British indie label that provided a safe haven for bands who believed that pop could never be too delicate, too submissive, too prepared to leap from the edge of the earth. So it makes sense that the former should pay respects to its spiritual forerunner: first in the form of a 1999 tribute EP and now in this compilation of one of Sarah’s lesser-celebrated bands. Brighter arguably built its entire (albeit brief) recording career upon a single mood of lovesick reverie, evoking the Byrds as played by a cash-strapped New Order. But the cumulative effect of these 15 songs is lovely, as simultaneously blissful and disconsolate as falling asleep in an English summer garden and waking up sunburned. And unlike so much music from its time, the passing of a decade has been more than kind. (Matinee)