March 2, 2015
(Wurlitzer Jukebox, 1996)
Broadcast’s first single was a gentle, woozy electronic ballad entitled ‘Accidentals’, constructed around a sample of Sir John Dankworth’s score to the Joseph Losey’s 1967 film Accident. Produced on an old Commodore Amiga PC by Cargill, Keenan, and Roj Stevens, it’s one of the band’s most beautifully simple tunes, recalling the forlorn, rainy day waltzes of Scott Walker’s Scott 3 album, thanks to the stark dichotomy between Keenan’s icy whisper and the profound poetry she recites (“Under the strain / Something’s got to break / I don’t think this branch / Can take my weight / I’ve been up this tree / All the time you’ve been looking for me / And you will not see, or try to believe / When there’s no guarantee”).
This would become a key component of the band’s power, and ‘Accidentals’ (backed by the soft sci-fi gurgle of ‘We’ve Got Time’) showed a band with a clear mission statement, using “cheap bits of technology that we had around rather than singing about going down the boozer,” as Cargill once said in reference to the laddish Britpop mania overrunning UK pop during the band’s inception. A modest yet promising start.