Tuesday 13 November 2012

XXOO "How Will I Know"

Jad Fair earned a place in my affections courtesy of his two dazzling collaborations with The Pastels.  Singing the entirety of "This Could Be The Night" loudly in my best approximation of Jad's voice was for years one of the simplest, most satisfying pleasures in my life.  By the early 90s Jad and his group Half Japanese had already amassed a sizeable catalogue of releases so I bought a few but suspected that I'd never have either the money or the opportunity to own too many more.  The good thing about only having bits and pieces is that there's still plenty of wonderful Jad records left to discover.  For example, I recently stumbled across "How Will I Know" by XXOO  (1982, Press Records) which, it turned out, was a pseudonym for Half Japanese.  It's quickly become one of my favourite of Jad's releases.  It has some of the most brilliantly naive lyrics about love:

"How will I know when I'm really in love?
 Will I hear bells rings?
 Will my heart pound hard?"

They really belong on, say, a pre-Beatles Shelley Fabares 45 but when put with a stumbling backing that is pure early K Records tape, the result is completely charming.

I love the way it winds down like a clockwork toy running out of energy.  I plan to play the copy that arrived today lots.  I don't know if XXOO meant kiss kiss hug hug in 1982 but the next time Jad comes to Glasgow, that's what he'll get as a thank you for this single.

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