The Borrowers


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Guardian Records signed the Borrowers after their third SXSW appearance in Austin, resulting in this 1996 debut. It was a promising beginning, filled with mature songwriting, robust vocals, and inventive arrangements. The album starts strong with "Broadway Mary and the catchy single "Beautiful Struggle," which spent six weeks on the AAA charts. The Neil Finn-like mature pop song "Nervous Heart" appeared in the movie soundtrack for Bed of Roses. Most of the songwriting is handled by Mark Addison, the group's founder. Lyrically, dysfunctional relationships are a constant theme. Stylistically, the Borrowers fit in with the likes of popular adult alternative acts of the time like the Counting Crows and the Indigo Girls, so it's mysterious why the album was such a commercial flop. The likely culprit was faulty promotion. It's a shame the album's most turbulent and powerful track, "Helicopter," with its power chorus and rich production, didn't get more airplay. The band quickly disappeared from the scene after their debut (their second recording, Overcoming Gravity, was an Internet-only release). Addison and bandmate Nina Singh went on to found a new project called Kitty Gordon. Too bad -- the Borrowers had the right stuff; they could have been a contender.

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