Now we take the tempo a bit down and come to a band that I really adore. Formed in 1986 in Portsmouth/England by siblings Alison and Jim Shaw, and named after the many mechanical cranes around the city's docks, Cranes are best known for the childlike, high-pitched vocals of lead singer Alison. Cranes are a UK band often remembered for touring the USA with The Cure in 1992. Since then they have acquired a loyal fan base around the world, who seem to find perfection in everything they do - whether it be fierce, sometimes stark guitar sounds of early albums like Wings Of Joy, Forever or folk-inspired Future Songs release. Cranes first album Self Non Self had a peculiar intensity which seemed all the more unusual at the time. John Peel picked up on the album right away, with the group recording a session for him in the album's first week of release. Some intense media interest followed and shortly afterwards the group signed to Dedicated-BMG and went on to record a lot of beautiful albums.
The band's music has been described as "gothic minimalism", although the band themselves disputed the 'gothic' tag. They have also been described as dream pop. In the early 1990s they were briefly lumped in with the "shoegazing" bands of the era. Much has been made of Alison Shaw's vocals, with descriptions ranging from "the helium tones of a small child", "baby-doll-voiced", and "a mewling, childish wisp of a voice". One reviewer described the band: "Imagine a small child singing lullabies at the bottom of the well with a background of grinding guitars".