There's probably an entire paper to be written on the adoption of the term 'indie' by the abstract terror that is the Music Industry and the subsequent distortion of its meaning to the point where it no longer implies a certain freedom from the soul-destroying shackles of those satanic conglomerates known as record labels. Quite to the contrary, 'indie' has come to refer to the wolf-sheep-clothes tactic of those very satanic conglomerates whereby they set up their own or swallow up already existing little labels under the pretext of providing us with authentic independent artists. However they end up sabotaging themselves by being more commercial than critical and the term 'indie' therefore is now about as helpful as a musical descriptor as 'alternative' was back in the old days of the twrentieth century. Since 'indie' bears little similarity, is nearly contrary, in fact, to its untruncated form, now might be a good time to revive the longer term and restore to it its original meaning.
Rocket Girl is a label that adheres so steadfastly to the OG concept of 'independent' that it may well be just one person putting out whimsical mixtapes for no selfish purpose aside from having us share with her her treasures. It a curious thing, this compilation, if you look at it from the perspective of an industrialised record label release, most strikingly so because the songs on the discs are not particularly new. On the first disc they date as far back as to 2006. The compilation itself is divided into two discs on a rather ambiguous basis - and this writer can only interpret the distribution as such: CD1 has the best songs by the most recent artists, while CD2 has recent songs by the best artists on the roster.
Nonetheless, these are just trivialities that we can puzzle over eternally but need not dwell on right now for they do not affect the quality of music on the comp, nor the words written about it. The 15-tracked first disc, to my mind, is easily the superior of the two. CD2, while by no means BAD, can be regarded as more consistently average relative to its predecessor. I struggle to pick out a single weak song on the second disc, while on the first I find myself left a bit cold by the monotony of Peter Daltrey's 'Tattoo' and Sam Kills Two's 'No. 6'. However, if Vinita Joshi is indeed sharing her favourite treasures with us (she is), then the ones on the first disc are much more radiant than the best on the second, even if you were to combine their charms of the strongest on the latter. Sure, the elegance of 'The Long Goodbye' - All In The Golden Afternoon's collaboration with Ulrich Schnauss - is indisputable, as is that of Project Skyward's remix of Elika's 'Nowhere'. But despite the unerring presence of Serena-Maneesh and their too-short contribution 'Blooth' and the faultless Robin Guthrie, nothing on the second can quite match the hypnotic amalgam that the first fifteen tracks make up. because where CD2 is only singularly charming, CD1 has many more facets to its endearing character.
Of course, this could be because of an unfair advantage - Guthrie, A Place To Bury Strangers and God Is An Astronaut all appear on both discs and since the first is blessed with the responsibility of providing us with the 'best songs' (as stated), it might be seen as having more ammunition in its favour. In addition to these stalwarts, it also contains Kennedy Green's cover of the Wire Daisies' 'Rocket Girl', the proficiency of the recording belying the ages of the girls who created it (Laura was 14 when she did the vocals). There's the undislikeable BRMC/Oasis hybrid 'Sitting Still' by The Brothers Movement and Japan's two-piece aM proffer a piece of synthetic electronica so lush, you scarcely believe it's nine and a half minutes long. 'You're My Yoko' is a quaky contribution from Television Personalities and is easily the most human tune on the entire album. CD1 also boasts also a spectacular track by relocated Sydneysiders (because all good Australian bands ultimately relocate) Howling Bells. 'Setting Sun's magnificence is only highlighted by Ulrich Schnauss's reworking of it.
7Radhika Takru's Score