From The Desk Of The Minders: Jim Noir’s “Tower Of Love”

Since forming in 1996, Martyn Leaper and the Minders have morphed from Elephant 6 darlings to twee-pop anarchists, throwing love bombs and denouncing nothing. Most non-fans remember the Minders’ auspicious 1998 debut, Hooray For Tuesday, and its unfairly derided follow-up, 2001’s Golden Street, but the band was active until 2006’s slight-but-lovely It’s A Bright Guilty World. The Minders’ only interim release has been the second web-only iteration of their odds-and-sods Cul-De-Sacs And Dead Ends. In the gap, Leaper wrote and demoed new songs when he could crowbar it into his 40-hour work week. Along with renowned producer Larry Crane (Elliott Smith, Sleater-Kinney), Leaper began finding the thread of Into The River, the first actual Minders studio work in a decade. Leaper will be guest editing all week. Read our Minders feature.


Leaper: I always admire artists who have the drive and direction to write, arrange and record a solo album. If the musician is able to pull it off and make his or her recordings captivating enough, the listener is invited into a most personal space. I am in love with Elliott Smith’s Either/Or record for this very reason, since each time I listen to it, I’m acutely aware that each track was painstakingly recorded and put together by him. Conversely, Jim Noir’s Tower Of Love falls into a similar category, and although the differences between Either/Or and Tower Of Love are stark, one does get the same sense of being drawn into a most personal world. Like Either/Or, Jim Noir recorded the whole record in his room on his computer. It’s incredible to consider the layers of vocal and instrumental overdubs that he had to record to create such a dense and dynamic sound. The instrumental title track is a case in point. My favorite song from Tower Of Love has got to be “Turbulent Weather.” The harmonies and the flow of the acoustic guitar in the song’s arrangement pull at my heartstrings every time.

Video after the jump.