The Would-Be-Goods - The Camera Loves Me
From the LP The Camera Loves Me (El, 1988)
For some fans of the twee end of the British indie scene, the apogee of the style was Mike Alway's label El Records. Alway's third label, after his time as the music director of Cherry Red and the head of the Warner subsidiary Blanco y Negro, El Records was The Alway Aesthetic in its purest form: the songs as light and frivolous as meringue, the artwork and graphic design impeccable, the liner notes right on the edge of terminally precious, all of it with a dry and veddy veddy English sense of whimsy. If P.G. Wodehouse had formed an indie label, it would have been El Records.
The Would-Be-Goods (name courtesy of the British children's author Evelyn Nesbit) were and are the project of singer-songwriter Jessica Griffin. Backed by a sort of El Records house band that at times included members of the Monochrome Set and other labelmates, Griffin debuted in 1987 with the "Fruit Paradise" single. 1988's "The Camera Loves Me" was both her second single and the title track of her first and best album, a song that marries Griffin's signature vocal and lyrical style with her catchiest tune, including a terrific chorus.
Somewhat surprisingly, Griffin has revived the Would-Be-Goods in the last few years, with ex-Heavenly guitarist Peter Momtchiloff as her musical foil.