Good Sunday Morning Brothers.
Again, as per ‘Pa’Lante’ I’ve been meaning to write about Nilufer Yanya for over 6 months, never got round to it and keep kicking myself each time she releases something amazing. My main concern is that one of the other Brothers will introduce her and I will be ‘yeah man, I’ve been listening to her since she was recording in her bedroom’ like a proper ageing muso tit.
My intro, as so much of my new music does comes through Pitchfork ‘Best New Tracks’. Looking at a quick Google search she’s been tipped as one to watch by The Guardian and BBC Music. ‘Beautiful, unfussy guitar music’ is such a lovely way of putting it but for me, most of these recommendations miss that I don’t really hear anyone else sounding like this at the moment. Beautiful instrumentation, arrangements, simple but effective production and a voice that is difficult not to fall in love with and fantasise about a deep meaningful relationship with Nilufer!
What do you think ( tip – please listen to the music … not watch the 1st video!)?
Singles/EPs on Spotify in order of release;
Long time since I’ve been as taken with an album as the new Hookworms album. As a local band, I’ve kept an eye on them for a long time (they’re FEROCIOUS live), and have enjoyed their heavy Krautrock workouts, but I wouldn’t say that either of their first albums have stayed with me that much.
All that has changed with the new album, Microshift. It’s a complete reinvention of everything they’ve done – suddenly full of wide open spaces, electronics and dance rhythms and MJ’s voice – which you suddenly realise is actually brilliant. I have been playing it to DEATH for the last week.
Bearing in mind this blog’s collective love for LCD, Hot Chip et al, I’d be absolutely astonished if there wasn’t a fair bit of love for this. I urge you to listen to the whole album in one go. It’s still an indie record, sure, but it has its eye on so much more than that.
I also love the way they’re using their sound to really dig at real stuff. This is about depression and the death of a friend and other disaster – and finding a way out of the other side. It’s compelling and really life-affirming. Again, James Murphy would be proud.
This is an absolute contender for album of the year for me, and yup, it’s only Feb.
FUCK. ME. Just wow.
Imagine some Grammy judge watching this and thinking “Yeah, this guy’s good, but he’s no Bruno Mars!”
Welcome to my 2nd write up of an AOTM. First it was the write-up of Plunge by Fever Ray that I wrote before finding out that it was not released on CD yet. The second is an album that I chose Plunge over initially. The first reason for this is that I am committed, long term lover of The Knife and Fever Ray and wanted to take the opportunity to choose an artist who has meant so much to me for such a long time. The second reason was that David chose a ‘soul’ album for for the November album and I thought this might be a bit ‘samey’ for the following month. However, I have listened to this and Jordan Rakei back to back a few times and in doing so am pretty confident that this is a different enough proposition to propose for the festive edition of AOTM.
Apparently Moses Sumney falls into the sub-wanky-genre of ‘Art-Soul’. Have you heard this term before? I hadn’t and didn’t/don’t really understand it. I was expecting this to be a lot more ‘noodle’ given this art-soul description. While the tracks rarely fit verse / chorus / verse structure, i do feel its relatively conventional and accessible. I have had this in my life for a few months now and it has delivered more over time. I am sue that I think this is absolutely a soul album. But it is a very sparse, austere, often fragile but always perfectly beautiful version of ‘soul’. The album relies heavily on the blues, melancholy and introspection.
This feels like an album of it’s time without borrowing contemporary tropes and production flourishes from it’s recent ‘R&B’ cousins. Again this is perhaps closer to Michael Kiwanuka than it is Jordan Rakei? I think the brothers will like it at first, and those brothers that stick with it will love it.
What must have been 6 or 7 years ago brother Joseph and I went out for a few Christmas beers one afternoon and amongst the conversation was the idea of what became the early beginnings of this collaboration of music sharing and discussion. The blog in its’ own right in 5 years old.. so good on us for sticking to it!
Looking back we have had some great albums, and this year is no exception. For me 2017 has been a strong year for new artists whilst it has also welcomed back a few that were due some fantastic new material. I found myself buying allot more albums this year, and looking at what is due in 2018 I hope it continues.
I always struggle with lists, but off the top my head here are my highlights for this year (songs and albums) in no particular order. Like last year, I left off top songs that are on albums that are in my top 10.
Jay-Z – The Story of O.J.
Tom Rosenthal – Soon Goodbye Now Love
Masta Ace – Young Black Intelligent (feat. Pav Bundy, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble & Chuck D)
Evidene – Jim Dean
Daphni – Face to Face
Whitesquare – Definition of Anticipation
Home – Joe Goddard
Rapsody – Power ft. Kendrick Lamar, Lance Skiiiwalker
Sampha – (No One Knows Me) Like The Piano
Julia Byrne – Follow My Voice
Aesop Rock – The Impossible Kid
LCD Soundsystem – American Dream
Bicep – Bicep
Auldus Harding – Party
Agnes Obel – Citizen Of Glass
Loyle Carner – Yesterday’s Gone
Four Tet – New Energy
Nick Mulvey – Wake Up Now
Kendrick Lemar – Damn
Run The Jewels – Run The Jewelz 3
Welcome back Karin. You’ve been missed.
I am very pleased to be able to choose the new Fever Ray album for December AOTM. Merry Xmas Brothers.
My introduction to Fever Ray (aka Karin Dreijer) came before I think I had ever heard anything by The Knife, the band that Karin created with her brother Olof. The Knife were a European Electronic phenomenon in the early ’90s perhaps never having the success or influence they enjoyed in Europe and Internationally. I worked backwards from my love of Fever Ray’s debut Fever Ray into The Knife back catalogue.
The album, Fever Ray was a (logical!?) musical progression from Silent Shout, The Knife album that preceded it chronologically. Silent Shout was a fairly dramatic, progression from The Knife’s earlier output focusing in on the more intense, dark and moody qualities of the previous albums. Fever Ray picked up this baton and Karin explored much more personal of pregnancy and motherhood as Fever Ray. She shared something we’d never heard or seen (please check out the videos from this album) from her work with her brother. The fact that the release of this album and Stacey and my love of it coincided with Stacey’s pregnancy and our early parenthood made this is a very special album.
If Fever Ray was a progression from Silent Shout then ‘Plunge’, in turns picks up many of the stylistic turns explored on ‘Shaking the Habitual’ the last Knife album. ‘Shaking the Habitual’ was mental. It was a pretty tough listen even for a fan. I do like it very much … but I don’t play it too much! I am sure that when you first listen to ‘Plunge’ you may feel similar emotions but I implore you to dive into it head-first. Create occasions where it’s oppressive, angular and downright scary nature is a plus … not sure what those occasions are really but immerse yourself and its brilliance will reveal itself.
Karin’s voice is urgent, pleading, desperate and reflects the less conventional electronic soundscape that creates each song. But when needed, she turns into a Scandi-Electro-Pop queen sounding cute and friendly. This dark and light is found all over the album. IDK About You is a great piece of urgent Punk Pop but at 150BPM comes across like an assault the first few listens. Again, once you get it, you really get it. ‘This Country’ see’s Karin open, explicit, politically charged and exposed. ‘To The Moon and Back’ harks back to The Knife’s perfect pop moments on the Deep Cuts album. It sounds like the gorgeous radio friendly ‘Heartbeats’ or ‘Pass This On’ until Karin coo’s ‘I want to run my fingers up your pussy’ … oh, she went there. How Karin.
So don’t relax and sit back to listen to this. It won’t work. But do get involved with it’s complexity and range.
There are few things in life that unite people as much as music. In the case of Canadians it’s the Tragically Hip and in turn their frontman Gord Downie. Separate from many other Canadian peers such as Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Arcade Fire and so on The Hip’s international following are largely Canadian ex-pats living around the world. There has always been something quietly satisfying that there was one great act that as a Canadian you didn’t have to share with the world; they can have Justin Beiber and Avril Lavigne and we’ll keep good old Gord. For me, where ever I’ve been in the world I always had the Hip to bring me back home for a few moments at a time.
Gord Downie throughout his career found a way to unite Canada through song whilst firmly holding his stick and poking the Canadian bear. He was one of the only voices firmly voicing and explaining his dissatisfaction of the treatment of Canadians indigenous people that seemed to be heard. He said in one of his songs that ‘no ones interested in something you didn’t do’, and he made of point throughout his career in doing.
Sadly this week Gordon Downie lost his bottle to brain cancer, and with his passing there is a part of Canada that will no longer be there. He wrote about Life, he wrote about the good things, the bad things and he wrote about hockey. Thanks for the memories Gord, you created much more than you ever knew.