Then there are those dear unfortunate few that are immensely talented, get signed to big labels, and even tour the world, and still cannot connect with the public at large enough to eek out even a modest living from their art. Like Shelleyan Orphan, for instance. I was introduced to them by the video for "Burst" when I saw it during an episode of 120 Minutes on MTV in the early 90's. Not long after I found a promo cassette of 'Humroot' somewhere. I didn't know what to make of it at first, but it grew on me. Eventually, I would come to know their whole catalog intimately, as well as some of the story that accompanies it.
It's not an especially pretty one either: two young people with very specific tastes and ideas set out to do something true to themselves. They find some advocates on the way(enter Geoff Travis of Rough Trade), as well as some adversaries(namely the British music press), even embark upon a world tour as an opener for the Cure for which they were selected by Robert Smith himself, but still weren't able to find a larger audience. They disband and reform some years later to release a strong comeback album. They do not release another studio record before Caroline Crawley dies from breast cancer.
As a maker of dejected music I feel like it partly my duty to collect and honor other dejected musics so if you've read thus far, good on you. Might as well read this interview with Jem Tayle and watch a couple of youtube videos while you're here. Thanks for visiting.
The song/video that introduced me to them:
One of my favorite tunes from them:
The performance in 1987 on The Tube that caught the eye of Robert Smith:
And one more just to represent their second record: