Suburban Light, the warm and wistful full-length from British indie-pop ensemble The Clientele, was one of those records that seemed more deserving of a reissue as each year passed. A collection of earlier singles, the 2000 release wasn’t a conventional debut—but it was one whose sound the band struggled to achieve, with “every sound engineer we met [trying] to make us sound like Radiohead,” frontman Alasdair MacLean told Chickfactor.
Fourteen years after that record first appeared on the U.K. indie-pop scene (and 13 years after its U.S. release), Merge Records gave Suburban Light the reissue it needed, polishing up the recordings and tacking on a batch of bonus tracks. Critical acclaim arrived swiftly, and the band recently played a string of successful shows on a short U.S. tour—including one sold-out gig at D.C.’s Black Cat.
The Clientele stopped by WAMU 88.5’s studio before that Black Cat show to play two perfect tunes: “Porcelain” (featured on 2003’s The Violet Hour) and “Reflections After Jane” (from Suburban Light). Mercifully, little has changed about these beautiful songs—including that hushed sound that so many sound engineers tried to steamroll with their take on OK Computer.