How have I never heard this? : Hydroplane - We Crossed the Atlantic (1997)
I'll always owe John Peel. When people say that they like "all sorts of music" they don't mean it. Most people are only ever exposed to a small, narrow, field of what music is and can do to and for you.
Peel would play anything on his radio show if he thought it was good or even just different; and he knew a beautiful, dreamy, ethereal piece of indie music when he heard it. It's a tune for late night; maybe while you're thinking back on your life, or for playing when you have a new beau in your apartment and you're trying to show them how varied and ecclectic your taste in music is. You know, trying to impress them.
Peel assembled his listeners' 50 favourite tunes every year, "The Festive Fifty", which got played over every Christmas time. This was where many people heard this song and were captivated by it. People still feel the need to post - on Youtube, in blogs - about what effect it had on them then and still does now.
As ever, don't look at the video, just listen to the music. The first few times you listen you'll notice that the rhythm guitar comes in too late a couple of times, or the synth, or whatever. But listen a few times, when you need to hear a tune like this, and you won't care - and you'll even come to love those little imperfections.
Not to be confused with some random guy from Miami who started using the name in 2010, their last release might have been a compilation of previously unreleased songs in 2006 - but it's hard to keep track of what this band released, where, when and on what label. They were an Australian band who also played under another name, but with exactly the same members, and they only ever seem to have played when recording EP's and albums (for a ton of labels) and at friends' parties. They never toured.
A weirdly large number of people, considering how this group operated, know who they are though - largely down to this tune. This blog post I found (from 2012) is amazing (the blog itself is awesome), in revealing just what a strange outfit the band was and is the source of much of my information;
“We crossed the Atlantic” is a cover. It was originally recorded in the 1960s by an Australian singer songwriter called Pip Proud."
It's a cover?! Pretty-much the whole interview is new information to me. I'd assumed they were some UK band who'd recorded a few pieces of vinyl and then just disappeared.
As for when the band split - they didn't; they just found life evolving and people moving further away and eventually it just stopped.
If you're interested in hearing more of them here's their last.fm page - oddly, "We Crossed the Atlantic" is in the list, but not available to play - which is testament to just how ephemeral their releases really were.
People are having to import their records from Japan just to get their hands on them.
Not for everyone, and you certainly need to be in the right mood, but if you need something otherworldly and it's 2am - this is what you're looking for.