In the end, it’s all about the songs.
February, a Minneapolis band whose seminal dreampop classic Tomorrow Is Today gets reissued by Saint Marie on November 25th 2016, has 14 of the greatest songs you’ve never heard. ‘Hit Me’ explodes out of the gates with hyperactive glee. Closer ‘Peacock’ is an epic drenched in wistfulness and regret with a string section to die for. There’s the overwhelming sonic power of ‘Swoon,’ the manic pop of ‘Riproar.’ February wrote songs that overwhelm your mind and explode your heart, that keep playing in your head long after the album’s over.
In the end, it’s all about the live show.
February’s were legendary. Glitter freakouts, costume parties, free ice cream, Go-Go’s covers, and joyous insanity. No, they aren’t performing anymore, but then neither are you.
In the end, it’s all about the sound.
It’s not really fair to call February dreampop—their sound was too eclectic & expansive for that. There’s too much attack. The music hits too hard, not so much a dream as the sound of someone slapping you awake. There’s nothing languid about February, no narcotic stumbles. Hell, the vocals and the words are distinctly audible. There’s nothing dreampop about that, but then most groups didn’t have a singer like Amy Turany.
In the end, it’s all about February.
Tomorrow Is Today. Critics raved at the time—AllMusic calls it a ‘treasure’—but they were on a small label in the middle of the country and so they mostly went unheard back in 1996. But time is in flux. Every eleven years our bodies become a completely different set of cells, so maybe now we all are ready for February. The past is full of surprises, and the only hope for the future is that we learn to correctly remember the past.