Jellyfish Spilt Milk

New Mistake by Jellyfish

There’s recently been a study released, based on streaming data from Spotify, that indicates that most people gravitate towards music that was released in their early teens. Females favour music that they first heard at the age of 13, and males music that they heard at 14. If you want, you can read it here:

I think there’s an obvious caveat; if you’re an active music seeker who’s stumbled across this obscure music blog, you’re probably an exception, someone who’s actively interested in a broad range of music.

But I still wonder if there’s a sub-conscious preference in my brain for the way music sounded when I was an adolescent in the early 1990s. One one hand I’m not particularly enthused the bands that my peers favour, like “The Chilis” and “The Manics”. But on the other, when I write song posts, I often gravitate towards white guitar bands from the early 1990s.

So here’s a song from my 14th year, Jellyfish‘s ‘New Mistake’ from 1993. While San Francisco’s Jellyfish have a tough guitar attack that vaguely fitted into the post Nevermind landscape of 1993, they’re a power pop band with retro influences and long hair. There are clear lines from the brash, harmony laden sound of Queen and the clever pop of XTC on this track, and its parent album Spilt Milk.

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Graham Fyfe is probably the only music blogger to appreciate Neil Diamond and Ariana Grande.
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  1. I think I’m loyal to the mid-90s to a fault!
    I didn’t know this tune but I hear those influences you noted – and I don’t think it’s solely because it has guitars from the early/mid 90s, but I like it!

  2. Loving power pop, I’ve always wanted to pick this album up, but never have.

    I reckon that’s a ‘no shit Sherlock’ piece of research, though the young ages are surprising. Would like to see population sample details on that one. Either way, obviously the social associations with music are commonly at a peak in one’s mid-teens to mid-twenties, whether due to the soundtracking of activities or gravitating to music-nerd connections.

    I also think (and would be interested in your response) that for long haul music lovers, the accumulation of massive volumes of music necessarily spreads the butter of attentive listening more thinly as the years pass, meaning another bias towards the old and better known.

    • Their first album Bellybutton is more of a conventional power pop album. This one is more like Queen doing power pop.

      Yeah, I would have thought that’s a tiny bit earlier. I think my biggest attachments are probably to albums I heard for the first time (not released in that time frame, but just albums I had a chance to focus on) in my late teens and early twenties.

      Yes, I think you’re correct that your attention gets spread further as you have more options.

      I think you’re right

  3. That piece of research is borne out by my iTunes, Although I like music from all eras, what comes up most often is stuff from my teens, be it Our Day Will Come, Strawberry Fields Forever or Jemima Surrender. Can’t say I had even heard of Jellyfish but I will now check them out.

  4. Brilliant. I loved Spilt Milk, though I didn’t hear it until much later (98, I think).

    But aye, although I like to investigate all the music I can, I tend to gravitate towards stuff I got into when I was a teen and the stuff of what I like to call my great musical awakenings (1997 and 2004).

    • I don’t think I heard it until the mid 2000s. A lot of my discovering music years was around the same era as yours – it was when I was at University and had a job for the first time. My favourite album from that era that I discovered in that era is probably The Flaming Lips’ The Soft Bulletin.

      • Strangely enough I was chatting with a friend about The Soft Bulletin on Friday. Just of the chat being that I bought it in 1999 and it remains a favourite of mine to this day. Outstanding album.

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