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Permanent Records: Felt’s caustic, captivating masterpiece cemented a genre

Permanent Records is an ongoing closer look at the records that matter most. Lawrence Hayward, the lead singer and nitpicky aesthete behind the cult English band Felt, wrote songs full of black humor, bitterness, name-checks, and obscure swipes at ex-bandmates and ex-girlfriends, fueling the band’s prolific decade-long run with his ambition, vanity, and self-pity. Back in the 1980s, Lawrence (as he preferred to be called, like a bona fide pop star) had fragile boyish looks, which only added to the fascination stoked in the British music press by stories of his eccentric behavior, all of which were probably exaggerated.
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