As Pop as Spice, as Punk as The Sex Pistols, as Britpop as Sleeper, as English as scones, as Germaine as Greer, as Sisterly as a convent.
Alisha's Attic were the missing link between Bananarama and The Spice Girls, if you were looking for such a thing, with self-penned songs to appeal to the indie set. After spending several years attempting to get a record deal, the two Poole sisters (Shelly and Karen. No, not Alisha) somehow came onto Dave Stewart's radar. Now, to be fair, Mr. Stewart, once half of the Eurythmics, is probably a perfectly respectable gentleman, but he comes across as someone you wouldn't leave in the company of two young women. I'm just saying. My other completely fabricated rumour involves Liam Gallagher and a five-foot plunger, in case you're interested…
Anyway, I Am, I Feel was Alisha's Attic's debut single. In common with many records of the 1995 era, it sounds very Pop, yet is devoid of the heavy production associated with, say, Bananarama or The Spice Girls. Electronic whistles, harpsichords, and a simple drumbeat dominate the song, with the ubiquitous-in-this-era guitar coming along for the ride. Pleasant and inoffensive. I suppose that you could try and tie this song in with Scarlet, but here the character singing the song seems less secure; while she talks a good game: Like, I wanna smash his face in / Yeah, that’d be fun, the chorus suggests that she'd stay with this slug of a man if he showed even a little compassion. It's not as self-assured as Ginger Spice, or even Kylie's Stock, Aitken, and Waterman phase; the character retreats into fairy-tale imagery (I click my heels together three times / They sparked a little but nothing happened) even as she uses violent fantasies to try and escape from the man's label of 'angel'. It's a little confused. But possibly more realistic, in that both sides of her are conflicting.
It may surprise you to know that Alisha's Attic recorded three albums before Mercury dropped them. It certainly surprised me. I assumed that after the initial success of their first few singles, they faded away into obscurity. But no. Three albums on Mercury, plus a self-published fourth album sold to their committed fans. Shelley is now pursuing a solo career, while Karen has written songs for Blue, Dannii Minogue, Holly Valance, and Amy Studt.