22 May 2009
You don't remember Daphne's Purple Closet. But then, again, you do. Anyone who hung out at the local punk/new wave/goth club, any one who listened to college radio, any one who bought hand-made cassettes from a box labelled "local bands" at the only hip record shop in town, remembers Daphne's Purple Closet, or at very least a band just like them. Part Siouxsie and the Banshees, and part The Cure, the singer never wandered much beyond her three or four note range, but you had a mad crush on her all the same, what with that punky hair and torn up fifties dresses, and too cool for school eye liner. She never spoke to you, probably wouldn't have given you the time of the day even if you had screwed up the courage to ask, but it hardly mattered. You requested the songs. You went to the gigs. You bought the cassette. You remember.
This blast from the hey day of the Canadian New Wave scene of the mid eighties should bring it all back to any one who went to college or played in a band in the post punk era. Daphne's Purple Closet were formed in Toronto around the talents of lead singer Jamie Browning. They established a strong following for a few months in 1984-85, playing clubs in the London-Toronto-Ottawa corridor, and scoring regular airplay on stations like Ryerson's CKLN, and Western's CHRW. On her web site, Browning describes the band as "Gothic sugar punk space-pop," all qualities in ample evidence on this very groovy, six-track cassette, self released by the band in 1984. The production is clean and crisp, and the songs a testament to just how strong so many of the regional post-punk scenes were at the time. If you liked those bands, if you went to those clubs, if you remember that girl, this is for you.
-- Crash the Driver