The Pearlfishers

Making Tapes For Girls

Image of The Pearlfishers - Making Tapes For Girls

About this item

After a hiatus of five years, The Pearlfishers, Glasgow’s finest, return with their ninth album for Marina – most probably their best and most immediate one so far.

Driven by main man David Scott’s exceptional songwriting and sophisticated arrangements, Making Tapes For Girls is a goldmine of pop gems – full of witty & colourful lyrics about the affirmative & healing power of music and pop escapism. 

The title track evokes memories of those days of compiling a C-30/60/90 for your loved one or secretly adored one: “I didn’t know how to say the right thing / So I left it to Joni and Paul...”. Those mix tapes that came straight from your heart & soul – “the nub of it, the truth of it, the ‘you’ of it.” It is another Pearlfishers classic in the vein of My Dad The Weatherfan and Even On A Sunday Afternoon and also David Scott’s nod to Terry Hall’s The Colour Field.

All of these 12 new tracks could have made it easily onto such a tape. Kisses On The Window is a very personal and straightforward love song, with a beautiful string quartet arrangement. Hold Out For A Mystic, most definitely the only song in pop history which references Henri Matisse and Billy Childish in the same line (“The Fauve and the Stuckist man”), is built around a cosmic ELO acoustic guitar sound, while Put The Baby In The Milk channels Carole King jumping through some harmony hoops à la Laura Nyro. We experience more name dropping in The Word Evangeline, a rumination on all songs featuring that name, from The Cocteau Twins to Emmylou Harris to Matthew Sweet. Yellow & The Lovehearts is a wonderful two part suite that takes us from full-on shiny pop to a glacial Simon & Garfunkel soundscape. We are even visiting a Fleetwood Mac-ish vibe in Until I Knew Happy – listen to that great cosmic country banjo solo which creates a fantastic widescreen sound! The super poppy We’re Gonna Make A Hit Record, Boy features the great line: “And we’ll sing it out for Judee Sill and Tony Bourdain”.

Oh yes. When The Sun Comes Back To The West Coast definitely lives up to its title – a return to the catchy Byrds harmonies of The Pearlfishers’ Marina debut The Strange Underworld Of The Tall Poppies.

Most of the album was recorded at La Chunky Studios in Glasgow where everything is vintage – from an old Ludwig kit, old Wurlitzer electric piano and Fender Rhodes keyboards to tons of vintage microphones and compressors. It made a big stamp on the overall sound to an album which is most probably the best one by The Pearlfishers yet.


01. Making Tapes For Girls
02. Kisses On The Window
03. Hold Out For A Mystic
04. Put The Baby In The Milk
05. Until I Knew Happy
06. The Word Evangeline
07. We’re Gonna Make A Hit Record, Boy
08. Yellow & The Lovehearts
09. The Wild Lives
10. Protect The Heart That’s Beating
11. When The Sun Comes Back To The West Coast
12. Sweet Jenny Bluebelle

Back to top