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The Noyelle Beat

It’s the album that revived my wilted faith in indie pop, though I don’t think Standard Fare intended to be an indie pop band. They came from a rock and pop world, stifled in their hometown of Buxton.

It wasn’t until they moved operations to Sheffield - recording at 2Fly, rehearsing at Yellow Arch, signing with Thee SPC - that they found their community. I identified with much about how and why they were making their music before I’d even heard the whole album. They were writing unpretentious, personal, danceable pop and I loved it.

The single ‘Dancing’ was on repeat until the full-length arrived, featuring future singles ‘Fifteen’ and ‘Philadelphia’, and bookended with two of their best, ’Love Doesn’t Just Stop’ and ‘Wow’. It’s Emma Kupa’s voice that gets you first. It’s honey and tar, imperfectly perfect, raw and genuine. Her lyrics, conversational but blithely poetic, are delivered with unsparing honesty, private stories told to you straight, as a friend or ex-lover. With Kupa also on bass, the trio was completed by Dan Howe (vocals and guitar) and Andy Beswick (drums), and it was a great band recipe while it lasted.

Like many SPC bands before them, including my own, they’d been over to play for Music Transfer Protocol, who in the late 00s brought together Northern English and Northern French bands for compilations and festivals. The Noyelle Beat title helped slot the album even more neatly - and for me, nostalgically - into Sheffield’s recent musical history, where it shines.

Nat Johnson