What was the most undervalued band of the ’00s? Ah, who the hell knows! But here’s one strong candidate: The Noonday Underground, an enigmatic British act that took its first breaths in 2000 with the album Self-Assembly. Noonday was at once years ahead of its time—predating likeminded work by Mark Ronson and the Go! Team—and also decades behind, its every note playing like some wondrous scene from cinematic swinging London. Starring the producer Simon Dine and singer Daisy Martey, Noonday Underground has been a nearly invisible live presence and, for the past five years, has been absent on record, as well.
No more! A few weeks back, the band unveiled Body Parts for Modern Art, a 27-song album available through the Tokyo label Stubbie Records. Technically, this is a collection of odds-and-ends, with material “recorded in London, England during the late nineties & early noughties.” Bless our ears, but little here sounds short of A-game. The album comes divided into three parts: The first features tracks with Martey, a singer blessed with Bassey pipes and London cool; the second includes short instrumentals, cut-and-pasted from the bargain bin records that are this band’s bread and butter; and the third presents work Dine completed for his pre-Noonday gig, Adventures in Stereo. “Let’s go out and get arrested,” Martey sings in “Faster Than the Fastest Thing.” Indeed! Check out the album today. In fact, those in New York can head straight to the Lowbrow Reader’s favored retailer, Other Music…and maybe even pick up a copy of Lowbrow #9 while there!