Cassandra's Ears: The Cassandra's Ears Story (Blind Date)

 |   |  1 min read

Cassandra's Ears: Crystal
Cassandra's Ears: The Cassandra's Ears Story (Blind Date)

Early in 2010 the women who had been in the late-Eighties Kiwi band Cassandra's Ears got together for a gig and to their delight discovered that James Moss of Jayrem (which had released their two EPs Private Wasteland and Your Estimation) still had the master tapes.

Jan Hellriegel -- Ears' singer -- had pursued a creditable solo career after the band broke up in 1990 and had her own label, so she had the tapes remastered and rereleased as this eight-song mini album which comes with reminiscences by the various band members and a scene-setting essay by Ian Chapman who outlines the lineage of women musicians and all-women bands.

Cassandra's Ears weren't alone in that -- Look Blue Go Purple and Fatal Jelly Space (both on Flying Nun) were active in the same period -- but, as with all-male bands, each sounded very different. As expected.

Cassandra's Ear with their guitar jangle/post-Cure sonic cinemascope were a world removed the prominent synth-pop sound which was so dominant in the Eighties, and their musical ambition seems, in retrospect, highly sophistiated. Hellriegel could pitch herself somewhere between Patti Smith (the mini-epic Crystal which just rises and soars), an indie.rock-pop singer with something to say (Private Wasteland with percussion player Sarah Macnab) or a confident woman who at core is deeply uncertain about a difficult choice that some must face alone (Your Estimation, "will I go down in your estimation?").

Cassandra's Ear were a band which exuded a confidence in the studio that others could only admire. Leanne Ibell plays terrific guitar. 

For many Cassandra's Ears were just a brief blip on the radar, but here's evidence they deserved to be something more. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music at Elsewhere articles index

Institut Polaire: The Fauna and the Flora (PopFrenzy/Rhythmethod)

Institut Polaire: The Fauna and the Flora (PopFrenzy/Rhythmethod)

More 60s-framed pop for alternative radio from the PopFrenzy label (Clientele, Camera Obscura, Lightning Dust) which refers to the great bands who never really made it (The Association, Left Banke)... > Read more

Jordan Reyne: How the Dead Live (www.jordanreyne.com)

Jordan Reyne: How the Dead Live (www.jordanreyne.com)

I guess when Creative New Zealand were looking for someone to write music to raise awareness of the country's historical and cultural heritage they wouldn't have had a long list. Right at the top... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . UTOPIA'S DEFACE THE MUSIC: So, ummm, that happened

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . UTOPIA'S DEFACE THE MUSIC: So, ummm, that happened

It's a very odd thing to observe, but Utopia – the prog-rock band lead by Todd Rundgren from the mid Seventies – kind of did the Beatles' career in reverse gear. They went from... > Read more

THE TAITE MUSIC PRIZE FINALISTS (2021): The independent spirits

THE TAITE MUSIC PRIZE FINALISTS (2021): The independent spirits

Named after the late Dylan Taite, one of New Zealand’s most respected music journalists, the Taite Music Prize recognises outstanding creativity for an entire collection of music... > Read more