Enfant terrible Kurt Heasley has gone through a number of musical incarnations since the early ’90s. His group, the Lilys, has been a sort of barometer of what is hip in indie. Nearly ten years ago, he was a disciple of all things shoegazer. The Lilys debut, In the Presence of Nothing, bore a distinct My Bloody Valentine bent. By the mid ’90s, Heasley had turned to the Kinks, the Monkees, and the Zombies (much like his pals in the Apples in Stereo had done). Consequently, in 1996, Better Can’t Make Your Life Better, was a Davies brothers tour de force, including mod riffs and resplendent hooks. Now, the Selected EP is a stylistic mix of the best of the ’90s. Some tracks on the disc were staples of early Lilys sets, but never made it onto record. Here, they appear in full glory. At times it’s as if you’re listening to a confused super group, featuring members from Ride, the Kinks, XTC, the Byrds, MBV, the Apples in Stereo, and the Stone Roses. Unusual, but very appealing. The drone is here alongside tweaked little guitar licks. High points on Selected include the Andy Partridge-style “Touch the Water” (complete with faux-British accent), the Velvet Underground tinged “Won’t Make You (Sleepy),” and the raunchy intro “Any Several Sundays.” For being such a short EP, this is a real incredible disc. Looking back was never so delightful.
File 13, P.O. Box 2302, Philadelphia, PA 19103; http://www.file-13.com