This week marks the Cherry Red release of the second and final half of the Felt discography reissue campaign, one that focuses roughly on their era at Creation Records. Although the group had always released singles, the switching of labels found them starting to focus on the 12 inch EP format. For the purposes of the deluxe CD/7 inch single box set, Lawrence elected to stick to the singles as they were originally released in 7″ format. Thus, some songs have been omitted, and while omissions might seem to reflect a lack of quality, that is most certainly not the case here. While the label has informed me there are no current plans for a remastered singles compilation, this week I want to highlight those fantastic b-sides, because I truly believe they deserve to be heard.
Felt was about to become a very confusing proposition; they had released two albums that challenged the public’s perception of them, and though Lawrence had always believed in his band, the notion that they would release an album on which he did not appear must certainly have flustered even the most diehard of supporters. It didn’t help that this 1987 EP highlighted a band seemingly getting better and better, as once again meeting with Robin Guthrie for The Final Resting Of The Ark resulted in a moody and beautiful record. Two songs stand out, and they are very much of a piece; both songs are instrumental, both seemingly invoke images of fall, and both songs are solo performances that last 1:50. Martin Duffy offers up a very beautiful piano number, “Autumn,” one which calls to mind the falling leaves and the reddish-brown hues of a cool, gray walk through the park in October. Lawrence offers up “Fire Circle,” a dark and haunting guitar driven atmospheric number that calls to mind John Fahey. Both numbers are so small and wispy and hidden away on this obscure release, it’s easy to write them off. Don’t, because they are simply too sublime to be forgotten.