Words and Music by Saint Etienne was their first album since 2005’s Tales From Turnpike House). Still, the material the band produced over their nearly-three decades has been remarkable consistent, right up to last year’s Home Counties. That said, the Foxbase Alpha debut from ’91, with its gorgeous cover of Neil Young’s “Only Love Can Break Your Heart,” takes some beating.
For a good while in the 1990s, London band Saint Etienne were one of the coolest groups on the electro-indie scene. Sarah Cracknell was (and is) a dazzling frontwoman: part contemporary alt singer, part Berlin chanteuse with a Nico vibe. Similarly, the sound has always been a seamless blend of British rave/club sounds and ’60s pop (unsurprisingly, particularly British Invasion). Saint Etienne never went on a hiatus, though they did slow down in the mid-2000s (2012’s