Music to Love

Photo Courtesy of Dangerdust

There’s an American artist called Dangerdust that I’ve fallen in love with, they produce beautiful chalk drawings of quotes and song lyrics, featured above. For this Good Friday here are some other things to fall for.

Lyla Foy 

This girls music is beyond pretty.

Francois and the Atlas Mountains

The new album Piano Ombre beams jubilance.

I’ll Follow The Sun





Thus Owls Play Takeshi Terauchi

There’s a feeling I get when something I’ve never heard is sent to me and it’s really good, it never fails to make me smile. When I ask that musician to write something for me and they send something equally amazing – then it’s almost like magic.

In this case it’s Montreal husband and wife duo Thus Owls (Erika and Simon Angell) whose bewitching song ‘How in My Bones’ recently landed in my inbox. Their sound is eccentric but familiar – a lovely melody, idiosyncratic, on key, lightweight and at times ethereal vocal, hypnotic guitar work and the notes of a Wurlitzer organ. Quite simply – sweet. Their new album Turning Rocks comes out via Secret City Records this April.

Read on and discover Simon s top pick…

Thus Owls

Thus Owls Play Takeshi

Takeshi Terauchi is sort of the grandfather of Japanese Surf and Psychedelic guitar. Nej, scratch that. He IS the grandfather! From 1962-69, Terauchi recorded with two main groups. His Blue Jeans and The Bunnys (Blue jeans having reformed in ’69 and still perform today!). The multiple guitars layered on top of each other defined the sound of 60’s Japanese Instrumental Surf Rock. There were usually 3 of them, sometimes each playing single melody lines, often in octaves, and sometimes playing more classically with a melody-chord-bassline approach.
As a guitarist myself, you could say I fell upon Terauchi (and subsequently a pandoras box of great Japanese and Korean Psychedelia) in quite a roundabout way. It started with Erika and I purchasing a Wurlitzer. Afterwards, I started seeking out other, more obscure vintage organ sounds. I have a good friend in Montreal who is the worlds most insane keyboard collector – you should see this guys studio! -and we started having conversations about different possibilities in the keyboard realm. Well, that led me to a place I rarely visit. Internet forums! At the way bottom of some out of the way vintage organ forum, someone had mentioned, almost in passing, the music of Terauchi. So I looked it up. And dug it instantly. Not just for the guitars, although they are incredible and at the forefront of the music, but since I was a bit tunnel-visioned (aurally tunneled??) at the time, my ears where immediately attracted to the organ accompaniment. Anyways, after picking up everything I could of him, his records are still on constant rotation in our home.
Thus Owls are currently at SXSW  and the band’s new album ‘Turning Rocks’ comes out in April.

The Weekend Edition: Jon Mckiel

It’s Saturday morning, kind of grey and you want to listen to something pretty, but with a bit of punch. Find it in Jon Mckiel’s album Tonka War Cloud. I know very little about him, or the story behind the album, just that it feels like the story of a road trip. A really, really good one – there be angry drums just when you need them. A discovery via the marvellous music blog Said the Gramophone. 

Frightened Rabbit’s Pedal Power

Cycling 1100 miles in 12 days? Aye right. Why would anyone of non- Olympian pedigree take that on?

I’m talking about this May’s Great Big Cycle, where ten amateur cyclists, including Grant Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit fame,  covering of the UK and Ireland. They’ll visit five capitals over 12 days and cycle about 100 miles a day. The reason? A really important cause.

Frightened Rabbit Playlist

Grant’s brother and lead cyclist Neil’s three year old daughter, Morven, suffers from a rare genetic condition called  cystinosis that can cause growth impairment and kidney problems. At the moment there is no cure. The cycle will aim to raise a mighty £100,000 for Cystinosis Foundation UK, a charity who research the disease and how it might be treated in future. Ahead of the cycle Grant shared the power tracks on his playlist. Read about the reasons below while listening to the Spotify playlist…

And really it’s an incredible feat for a really important reason. Please spread the word by sharing this link where you can learn more and donate:  or

You can also suggest a song to add to the playlist and spur them on by leaving a comment here or on Facebook!

Grant’s Great Big Playlist

Lorde Team
When you’re on the bike for a few hours it’s important to have a collection of melodies that don’t really get tired and this something that Lorde does pretty well on Pure Heroine. It’s also great if they’re fairly simple otherwise you’ll have one line going round the whole time because you can’t remember anything else! This track is probably my favourite because of the harmonies and the beat but I’m a fan of them all so they’ll all be going round my head a fair amount.
Katy Perry Roar and Firework
Pure unadulterated pop that gives me great motivation. The classic breakdown and finale is something that will never get old and the lift created by it is incomparable. Roar is Eye Of The Tiger for the tween generation but has just as much of an affect on me!!
PlaceboPure Morning
Everything about this track is just so menacing and whenever I want to feel like a hardman(which is not often I should add) I’ll stick this on and get my swagger going!! I was a huge fan of Placebo growing up and again the simplicity and repetitive nature of this track makes it perfect for the ride. It’s so rhythmic too which is obviously important for turning the pedals hour after hour, day after day.
Frightened RabbitLate March Death March
Only because it is Morven’s favourite song and will act as a reminder for the whole reason for doing this when times get dark on the bike
Roger and The Gypsies Pass The Hatchet
This is all about the drum beat in this song. Once again the rhythmic nature of it is great and I just love how happy the vocals sound. It creates a great image of that time of dance halls and making music for people to get up and move to which is something you see less and less these days especially with live bands.
London Bridge Is Falling Down
No idea why but it regularly pops into my head when I’m on my bike.
The Felice Brothers – Run Chicken Run
I love the ramshackle sound The Felice Brothers are so good at creating. This song is just so frantic and it moves in such a great way that just makes it impossible to stay still when it’s on. It has a great feeling of community too. Like the whole band are just in the one room playing along and shouting out harmonies that come in to their head and that’s something that will be important on the ride too. There are 10 of us taking part for the duration and we’ll have to work together a whole lot and really help each other through it and I expect we’ll become a very tight knit group.
Wintersleep – Archeologists
I just bloody love these guys. When we toured with them it was like we’d known them forever and I remember those tours with such fondness that to not have them in here would just be a travesty. They are all absolute dicks though!