How I Learned To Write Backwards

The Aislers Set

How I Learned To Write Backwards

SLR 68 » released February 2003

formats » LP/CD
status » out-of-print

DIGITAL » Apple Music |  Amazon
1. Catherine Says 7. Through The Swells
2. Emotional Levy 8. Train #1
3. Languor In The Balcony 9. Train #2
4. Mission Bells 10. Unfinished Paintings
5. Sara's Song 11. Melody Not Malaise
6. Action Attraction Reaction  

Where were you when you first heard The Aislers Set's The Last Match? Shining like a beacon of song-driven sanity amidst the morass of trend-obesessed indie-dom, The Last Match was that kind of record. One that fuelled fond memories, sparked love affairs and reminded us all of the power of songs and songcraft and POP. It's chiming guitars and indelible melodies were heard everywhere from London to Tokyo, from Glasgow to Malmo. Building on from their stellar debut album, Terrible Things Happen, The Aislers truly came into their own with The Last Match. And now The Aislers follow-up in stunning fashion with How I Learned To Write Backwards. Brimming with drunken romanticism, sharp pop sensibilities and timeless melodies, the new Aislers album offers 11 new musical proofs of the power of classic tunes. Helmed by writer/player/producer extraordinaire Amy Linton, The Aislers revel in the history of great POP, spiking their classicist 60s-tinged tunes with pure post-punk energy and originality of bands like the Fire Engines and The June Brides. Every song is a meticulously constructed sound world, where the arrangement and instrumentation sublimely, uncannily bring each tune to completeness.

Ranging from the baroque 60s pop of opener "Catherine Says" to the uptempo C86-flavored indie-pop of "Languor In The Balcony' to the '79 style post-punk of "The Train #2" and the late-night loneliness of "Unfinished Paintings," How I Learned To Write Backwards expertly winds together so many strands of pop history with such personality, atmosphere and style that there's never any doubt that you're listening to a band with vision. Far from being a "name the reference" game, The Aislers use the past as inspiration rather than a blueprint, so the echoes you might hear of, say, Phil Spector's Wall of Sound or Laura Nyro's soulful lyricism are so well-integrated into the Aislers's sound that they're more akin to the spice in the stew rather than the stock of the soup.

The undisputed greatness of the Aislers has won them a rabid following amongst the indie public, and they can count as fans and tourmates such diverse groups as Belle & Sebastian, Black Dice, The Gossip, Erase Errata, Comet Gain and Sleater-Kinney. The zines like them, John Peel likes them, we like them and chances are pretty good that if you're still reading this you like them too. Where Terrible Things Happen and The Last Match succeeded on all levels, How I Learned To Write Backwards is even stronger and looks set to reach even more people, more ears, more places.


The LP comes in a really cool heavy cardboard jacket that's made like 1950s LPs, and even has glossy film lamination like classic jazz albums. We've also pressed the LP on virgin vinyl for the best sound quality. It's an awesome package. Due to the fancy (and of course expensive) packaging the LP is a little costlier than our usual albums.

The CD is on Suicide Squeeze.

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