“Memory is what we are. Your very soul and your very reason to be alive are tied up in memory.” Nick Cave
Monday, November 30, 2020
Songs About People # 1,209 Bebe Buelle
Songs of the Year # 26 Spinning Coin
Great British B Sides # 26 Teardrop Explodes
The Teardrops were always a bit more experimental than most. This was the flip to Passionate Friends.
Albums of The Year # 26 Coriky - Coriky
Eponomously title album of the year:
Fear of Music - The 261 Greatest Albums Since Punk & Disco # 114 The The - Soul Mining
This is Uncool - The 500 Greatest Singles Since Punk & Disco # 118 The Clash
Song of the Day # 2,505 The Royal Landscaping Society
Sunday, November 29, 2020
Songs About People # 1,208 The Verlaines & Husker Du
Great British B Sides # 27 Saint Etienne
Albums of The Year # 27 Grimm Grimm - Ginormous
A total leftfield surprise for me. But an enduring one:
A record I've slowly fallen for rather hard over the last few days is Ginormous the third album from London based Japanese musician Koichi Yamanoha who goes under the Grimm Grimm nom de guerre. I've lsitened to a range of great new records over that time but found myself coming back again and again to this almost despite myself. The sure sign of a great record.
Ginormous is a subtle charmer, whispering and insinuating rather than hammering its points home. It's all the more alluring for this approach, conjuring a soft, fantastic landscape that's reminiscent of the gentlest and oddest moments of Can, Young Marble Giants, Beach House and Cate Le Bon's back catalogue.
High praise indeed, but Ginormous is worthy of it. It manages the remarkable feat of being both tender and durable and it's already a record I look forward to returning to and getting to know better over the coming weeks and months. Imbued with the loveliest melodies and cadences but shifting mood with the upmost subtlety from track to track, it's one for sensitive Indie couples to tuck the kids into bed to and kickback to before they themselves hit the sack.
Yamanoha describes the objective behind the album as trying to 'sound like a wedding and a funeral at the same time.' Switching between his native tongue and his adopted one at will and inviting a number of like-minded female vocalists such as Paz Maddio and Laetitia Sadler to leaven the mix, the cumulative effect of their joint endeavours is incredibly compelling as you make your way through this enchanted forest of a record.
The tracks here function almost as nursery rhymes or lullabies, consistently bedded on a warm torrent of organ driven melodies. Determinedly intimate and idiosyncratic it constantly varies its mode of delivery and the individual tracks are quite different from one another yet knit together almost seamlessly. A small but perfectly formed arecord. An album of childlike wonder to clutch to your heart.
Fear of Music - The 261 Greatest Albums Since Punk & Disco # 113 Tom Waits - Swordfishtrombones
'Tom Waits has never been thought of as a political artist. But in hindsight, his most famous album sounds like a protest against Reaganomics.;
This is Uncool - The 500 Greatest Singles Since Punk & Disco # 117 Madness
Song of the Day # 2,504 The Orcas
Saturday, November 28, 2020
Great British B Sides # 28 XTC
Albums of The Year # 28 Kevin Krauter - Full Hand
Song of the Day # 2,503 Northern Portrait
Rather lovely Lennon lilt to the vocals here. All in all quite terrific. Jangly and cheering. Top job all round.
Friday, November 27, 2020
Songs of the Year # 29 The Proper Ornaments
Albums of The Year # 29 I Break Horses - Warnings
Fear of Music - The 261 Greatest Albums Since Punk & Disco # 111 New Order
This is Uncool - The 500 Greatest Singles Since Punk & Disco # 115 The Sugarhill Gang
'Rapper's Delight is a massively important record that came to exist through a murky blend of opportunism and total surprise.'
Song of the Day # 2,502 The Bluebells
Early Eighties Glasgow contemporaries of Orange Juice, Aztec Camera, Josef K and Altered Images. The Bluebells somehow seemed a little less essential than their fellow travellers at the time. At least to NME readers like me. Now, almost forty years later with the re-release of their debut album Sisters they scome across as impossibly youthful, vital and fresh to my ears.
The template for their sound and sensibility seemed clearly to be early Sixties British Pop. They almost come across as Freddie & The Dreamers, Herman's Hermits or Manfred Mann wannabes on here sometimes, particularly on their most famous songs and notable hits Young At Heart and Cath. They seem to certainly owe nothing, or next to nothing to Punk.
This pales by comparison with Aztec Camera's High Land, Hard Rain, I'd say the finest album this particular scene produced, but most albums would. There's certainly much here to relish and enjoy. A good record for the middle aged likes of me to start the day with. A couple of songs you might want to skip perhaps, but for the most part, this should put a spring in your step.
All yearning choruses and swooning harmonies. Sisters come across a reminder of what seemed like more innocent times, (I guess many of the fortunate feel that way about their youth and mid-teenage years). One to savour your first kisses, the way your heart always seemed about to break, and the sky seemed infinite when you were sixteen.
Thursday, November 26, 2020
Great British B Sides - # 30 The Pretenders
Albums of The Year # 30 Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - Sideways to New Italy
Perhaps not quite as good as their debut. But a pretty worthy follow up:
An act of quiet, but thoughtful consolidation. That's how I'd describe Melbourne band Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever's second album, Sideways to New Italy just out. I've been listening to it fairly consistently since it was released last Friday and find it that rarest of beasts. A record that is at once immediate and one that will surely also reward repeated plays.
Fear of Music - The 261 Greatest Albums Since Punk & Disco # 110 The Cramps - Off The Bone
This is Uncool - The 500 Greatest Singles Since Punk & Disco # 114 Chic
Song of the Day # 2,501 Corvair
Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Great British B Sides - # 31 Felt
Albums of The Year # 31 The Innocence Mission - See You Tomorrow
A quite transcendent record from January:
Fear of Music - The 261 Greatest Albums Since Punk & Disco # 109 One From The Heart OST
This is Uncool - The 500 Greatest Singles Since Punk & Disco # 113 The Pretenders
Song(s) of the Day # 2,500 Helen Love
Tuesday, November 24, 2020
Lloyd Cole & The Commotions - Rattlesnakes
Still love this record. Still like this review:
Album Review # 37 Lloyd Cole & the Commotions - Rattlesnakes
Great British B Sides - # 32 The Skids
Albums of The Year # 32 U.S.Girls - Heavy Light
Not quite as fine as previous album In a Poem Unlimited. But still pretty fine: