Updated: Sep 9, 2019
Words by Richard Morgan
Sweet Brandon Teena is the debut release by Hull quartet Reardon Love, and part of me can’t help but hope their name was inspired by notorious Welsh snooker legend Ray Reardon- although on second thoughts they are all probably a bit too young for that.
A funky bass intro opens the song before being joined by the rest of the band, and by the lustful vocals of guitarist and singer Matt Fletcher. By the time we reach the first chorus the song already has a nostalgic 80's synth-pop feel, seeming to slot organically into the decade itself as well as into the modern indie revival of the previously dated genre.
For those of you who aren’t up the scratch on your LGBT history, the said ‘Brandon Teena’ in the song title refers to the trans man who was viciously killed in Nebraska back in 1993, and subsequently became the subject of the 1999 film Boys Don't Cry, with Hilary Swank portraying Teena.
The song concludes with the lyric "the brownest eyes in Nebraska are haunting me tonight; another dream that ended far too soon." and it's refreshing to see bands happy to raise important issues like hate crime, especially with the current socio-political climate. Reardon Love deserve all the kudos they can rake in as a band for that- whether this synth-pop daydream is your kind of thing or not.
Having already supported the likes of Hinds, Sports Team and RedFaces, the future looks bright for Reardon Love if Sweet Brandon Teena is anything to go by. Creating pop records is a craft that takes many years to master, the balance between creating something both new and digestible a difficult one, but Reardon Love seem to be on the right path so far.