I owe Julia Clark-Lowes an apology. I doubt she wants to go through the rest of her life known as "Julia who co-founded The Pipettes". Yet obviously that is how I think of her. She probably would prefer to concentrate on what she is doing now.
What she is doing now is well worth giving attention to. She is one of the two lead vocalists in The Indelicates (the female one, the other is a guy bamed Simon) . Even without the Pipettes connection, The Indelicates are a fine band in their own right.
Currently several singles have been released, and a full album is due out in April (2008). A new single is due about a month before the album. Additionally The Indelicates have released several songs on their website for free download, using some interesting strategies with these to promote the stuff that actually 'puts food on the table'.
The current single is "Sixteen". The song's theme is being young - even if you are not. Young at heart, if you will. Or as the song puts it "wanna be 16/Even though we're 23".
23 is hardly old. But it is around the age when it becomes painfully obvious that playtime is, if not over, at least closing out. Behaviors like "drink[ing] milkshakes until [you're] sick" are no longer accepted. Except for the young.
It is fitting that a song that addresses playfulness is itself playful. One phrase I find particularly wonderful - "This scene is the scene to be seen in" - is a good example of the general quality of songwriting in Indelicates material.
Another 'sign of quality' in the songwriting is the ability to write about a similar theme from varied 'angles'. Take "Fun Is For the Feeble Minded", which thematically addresses the same ideas as "Sixteen" - getting older. But while in "Sixteen" giddy fun can be had even though playtime is fading, in "Fun Is For the Feeble Minded", fun is ... well ... you see the title. "You're young/But you're aging/And the end is like a shadow there waiting". A wholly darker take on the subject than the former song. But decide for yourself - an acoustic version of "Fun Is For the Feeble Minded" is a bonus track on the CD single of "Sixteen".
Above I mentioned songs posted to The Indelicates official website. The songs (as of when I visited) were remixes and covers of "Sixteen". Hearing different takes on one song made me very eager to hear the release version. An interesting (and I think non-intuitive) way to give folks something of value for free without 'giving away the farm'.
Almost as an afterthought, I should mention what the group sounds like. No clever metaphors from me here - lets say the more rockin' edge of indie pop. I'll leave the cleverness to The Indelicates. It is something they have in spades.