The Aislers Set – “Mission Bells” 12”
Suicide Squeeze, 2002
Acquired: Half Price Books, Used, 2013
The Aislers Set were part of the soundtrack to my freshman year of college, which was an insanely exciting time full of new friends, new music, and coming out of my shell like so many introverted kids before me. My freshman year girlfriend hipped me to San Francisco quintet the Aislers Set, who in a way paved the way for my full-steam-ahead indie-pop/twee obsession a few years down the line. There’s just something about the subdued pleasure of the Aislers Sets laid back yet vibrantly delightful songs that is impossible to resist. There’s a little Belle & Sebastian in the overall tone, but the group also incorporates traces of girl groups, surf, punk, and, at least on this “Mission Bells” single and its two b-sides, elements of Spanish folk music (notably the Spanish-sung version of the single, “Campanas de Mision,” which features full Mariachi guitar and horns). “Mission Bells” was the last single from the bands last album, How I Learned to Write Backwards, and while it appears The Aislers Set never officially broke up, it’s still sad that the band peaked with their most impressive album. This single is a real treat, and it almost got tossed in the dumpster! When I took over LPs at the St. Louis Park Half Price Books, I cleaned out all of the old clearance records that had been taking up valuable space for six months and carted them out to the dumpster. I took armloads and chucked them in, and luckily, this one revealed itself at the top of one of my armloads.
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