Broadcast – ‘The Noise Made By People’


Release: 2000

Label: Warp Records (UK) / Tommy Boy Records (US)

I hear Deerhoof. I hear every UK 60s throwback band trying to make it in the United States. I hear Yo La Tengo. I hear Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Blade Runner. I hear a hip French band soundtracking a new noir film about an abduction and/or damsel in distress. I hear “indie”, back when “indie” actually meant something. I hear Kid A a few months before Kid A was released. I hear an alternative future in which we all became cyborgs and this is what we’re all listening to on the jukebox.

Broadcast, from Birmingham, England, had been around since 1995, but The Noise Made By People, their official debut, was released in 2000. They were signed to Warp, yet they were the least electronic act on the label. This was pop music envisioned for the future, which in 2000 sounded like Aphex Twin taking over the Beatles or the Replacements in terms of influence.

Lead singer Trish Keenan sounds detached and cold, like a futuristic Nico who sounds too cool to sing simple pop songs, yet the two highlights, “Come On Let’s Go” and “Echo’s Answer” keeps Keenan at her most open and potentially vulnerable. Sometimes she even sounds like a robot (“You Can Fall”), but mostly Keenan sounds like someone who has time-traveled from the future and and is unimpressed with our primitive songwriting. If she’s a robot, then it must be irony that this album is called The Noise Made By People.

15 years later and this album hasn’t lost any of its cool. Maybe this will be the soundtrack of the future?

“Come On Let’s Go”

“Echo’s Answer”