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How I Learned to Write Backwards

How I Learned to Write Backwards

by The Aislers SetThe Aislers Set


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San Francisco-based popsters Aislers Set returned with the follow-up to 2000's The Last Match with How I Learned to Write Backwards, co-released on Suicide Squeeze and Slumberland Records. The disc was a significant departure from the band's previous works, marking a new approach to songwriting by the group's leader, singer Amy Linton. Fortunately for the band's fans, her signature voice and the band's uncanny knack for creating uniquely catchy pop hooks remained. The Motown flare of the opener, "Catherine Says," hints that the album was not going to be more of the same from the group. While bands often rest on their laurels, Aislers Set seemed determined to once again push their proverbial artistic envelope. "Emotional Lack" includes a unique ending, with the band relying on a cappella vocals, only accompanied by handclaps and Yoshi Nakamoto's brief, steady drumming. The disc really hits its stride with "Languor in the Balcony" and "Mission Bells," as the quintet shows off both its post-punk and pop sensibilities. Linton's vocals alternate between the hushed "Sara's Song" and the graceful "Through the Swells," always maintaining a subtle coyness. The band's most ambitious instrumentation is easily the pairing of "The Train #1" and "The Train #2," a meticulous and fiery set of precisely executed arrangements. Yet again, the pace falls after the frantic "The Train #2," this time with the serene "Unfinished Paintings." Aislers Set succeed yet again by the simple fact that there's no other band crafting a similar sound, not even remotely. Their signature sound is a result of Linton's musical vision, along with the refreshing input from bassist Alicia Vanden Heuvel and guitarist Wyatt Cusick. Jen Cohen adds a wealth of sounds on keyboards. "Was Either Easier" marks the orchestral ending to How I Learned to Write Backwards. The disc was recorded during 2002 at Linton's home studio and was released in February 2003. [How I Learned to Write Backwards was re-released in 2014.]

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Product Details

Release Date: 10/14/2014
Label: Suicide Squeeze
UPC: 0803238012520
catalogNumber: 80125
Rank: 182326


  1. Catherine Says
  2. Emotional Levy
  3. Languor in the Balcony
  4. Mission Bells
  5. Melody Not Malaise
  6. The Train, Pt. 1
  7. Attraction Action Reaction
  8. The Train, Pt. 2
  9. Through the Swells
  10. Unfinished Paintings
  11. Sara's Song

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