Sunday, 10 December 2017

Natasha Kmeto-"Free For Tonight"- Live at Bunk Bar 2, 10, 2017

A truly absorbing performance of 'Free For Tonight', which was the slightly more gritty/somber B Side to the euphoric 'Pour Down'.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

The Knife - We Share Our Mother's Health (Shaken-Up Version) Live At Ter...

An absolutely genius re-working of an electro pop classic.

David Wilkinson did a particularly astute write up of their Shaking The Habitual album over on The F-Word back in 2013, an album that increasingly feels prescient and slightly ahead of its time.

'We Share Our Mothers Health', meanwhile, dates from the bands Silent Shout period in 2006 and, as such, is much more pop than anything off Shaking The Habitual. Which is not to say it's a 'light' track by any means. Sonically, its very robust and complex, but it does have a lightness that the more recent material doesn't have.

Monday, 4 December 2017

St. Vincent - "Los Ageless" (Official Video)

Late contender for single of the year for me.

Or just a great dance madly around the living room kind of record.

The album, MASSEDUCTION, is great as well and I really don't understand why it's not in any of the steady flood of end of year lists coming along this month. Except perhaps that it was only released in October?

As a general rule, my personal end of year list doesn't often cross paths with the general ones, partly because I'm a bit slow on the uptake with some albums, but also because I think I operate in some musical twilight universe where my ears operate differently or something... Which worked OK as an approach when I was a fanzine writer, but was less useful as a music journalist. Sigh...

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Wild Ones - Paresthesia (opbmusic)

I reviewed the album, Mirror Touch, on here a month or two back and this is still my favourite track from it.

Startling for all the right reasons.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Amy Studt - My Paper Made Man

I actually wrote about this song a few years back as part of The F-Word's song of the day series. I think it's a really good example of an artist trying to break away from the image they were packaged in as a young teenage singer/songwriter and, ultimately, being punished for doing so.

Amy Studt does still write and record, but I'm not sure to what extent she chooses to keeps herself low profile or to what extent that choice has been made for her.

This song was such a great track, from a really strong album album as well. It deserves to be reissued.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Florence + The Machine - Mother

I've been coming back to this song a lot over the past few months. It's the song I think of as the bands 'Big Brother And The Holding Company one', as opposed to 'What The Water Gave Me', which I tend to think of as the 'Jefferson Airplane one'. Not in a derivative way in either sense, merely in that both songs have a slight echo or nod to that particular musical moment in time.

The guitar sound on 'Mother' has that late 1960s/1967 Monteray Pop Festival feel to it only it's combined with Florence Welch's signature motif of dark lyrics coupled with uplifting music. Overall, it's also a song that is indicative of the way in which the band tend to go for a big finish, mood wise and sonically speaking, on all of their albums.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Piccadilly Records' End Of Year List

A week ago, Piccadilly Records, the mancunian independent store, released it's hotly anticipated End Of Year lists.

I look forward to the Piccadilly Lists because they tend to both tally with a  broader musical consensus as to what have been the musical highlights of the year (both Solange's A seat at the table and Angel Olsen's My Woman scored highly last year) but also wear their heart on their sleeves so far as the consensus in the shop is concerned. Previous Album of the Year winners have been Julia Holter's Loud City Song and Jane Weaver's Modern Cosmology (keeping it local there...) and this years winner is Kelly Lee Owens self titled debut.

I do, dimly, remember their weekly mailout raving about Kelly Lee Owens earlier this year, but I hadn't got around to checking out the album until this morning when I decided, having bookmarked it in Spotify last week, that it was time I did.

While, on paper (or, indeed, on email mailout...), it didn't look as though it was going to be my kind of thing, I'm really glad I 'tasted' it now because I've been listening to it on repeat all day. Once I get paid at the end of the month, I'm off to the shop to buy it.

The main reason I have a Spotify account (aside from a hopeless predilection for playlisting...) is to try out music that I wouldn't normally listen to, some of which I then go on to buy from proper record shops (as much as possible) so as to ensure that the artist in question gets a better sales percentage on my purchase than they would if I bought it off Spotify or Amazon.

I really don't think I would have taken a punt on this album without the option to try it out first on streaming.

It's a mysterious and enigmatic creature, sonically speaking, soothing and calming despite being made up of really quite intricate sounding sonic landscapes. In their own write up, Piccadilly Records peg it's influences as everything from techno to shoegaze to Cocteau Twins. They think of it as a late night post clubbing kind of record, and I can see that it would work that way as it's quite lulling but still very electronic. They also describe it as slightly blurred, which I also got I think, listening to it.

I've been shopping at Piccadilly Records since the mid 1990s, when the shop was still on Brown Street and surrounded by punk shops. These days it's on Oldham Street, part of the hipster central that is the Northern Quarter and where it feels equally at ease as it did on Brown Street surrounded by punk shops. Such is the versatility of the modern record shop.