Category Archives: new music

The Month of May

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Pinch, punch first of the month! Inspired by the Arcade Fire tune here are some springtime songs…

Sharon Van Etten ‘Everytime the Sun Comes Up’

It’s impossible not to love this lady’s music. This is a lilting, yearning track from her soon to be released new album ‘Are We There’. You can also watch a live session of it with extra glimmers over at NME.com.

San Fermin ‘Sonsick’

I feel in love with this song  on my iPod. Play it loud, on a sunshine day and feel like the world is better.

John Denver ‘I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to be Free’

This week I have been listening to a lot of old vinyl, this is my most favourite song.

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Listen Up! Angel Olsen

Angel Olsen

American singer-songwriter Angel Olsen is an artist I heard of last year through her 2012 release Half Way Home. New album Burn Your Fire For No Witness is one of the best records I’ve stumbled on in a long time: it begs to be listened to all the way through and is wholly addictive. I’ve  listened to it over and over again – it makes you want to even though you know you shouldn’t because  eventually you might ruin it for yourself.

Olsen’s voice goes from honeyed to wild, fierce and rasping, her lyrics project straightforward truths, her musicianship is crafted and poignant. Like all great music emotions –  heartache, loneliness, desperation, anger and serenity – ring right through it.

Burn Your Fire For No Witness a subtly dazzling collection of songs with a rare and beautiful kind of timelessness. Befriend them.

Listen to the album now via NPR, it will be released through Jagjaguwar.

LISTEN UP! MOGWAI’s RAVE TAPES

Rave Tapes A recent conversation:

My friend: I always thought Mogwai were a rubbish indie band.

Me: No they’re not.

My friend: I know. I’ve been listening to them. They’re really good.

Me: Yes. Yes they are. They’re new album Rave Tapes is awesome.

Both: Nod heads with quiet satisfaction.

Stream it here, as a pointer ‘Replelish’s’ spoken word sampling and eerie melody are spine-tingling.

 

 

Sweet Blue Eues

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Aram Bajakian is an incredible guitarist from New York who’s toured with the late Lou Reed, Diana Krall and many other infamous musicians. ‘There Were Flowers Also in Hell’ is a solo album I first heard today and instantly fell for. ‘Sweet Blue Eues’ (track 5) is a slower, thoughtful track, set to a glorious foundational rhythm.

Cool Things I Found

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It’s summer! In Scotland. Finally. Some sunshine appropriate tunes…

This mix from Self-Titled Magazine is very good…

As is Willis Earl Beale’s Film Principles of the Protagonist: ‘a short film that’s actually about something’. I tried to embed for you lovely people it but it isn’t working for some unfathomable reason, so watch it via Exclaim! I’m a big fan of Beale’s music and illustrations, he’s a stunning raw talent. Here are some tracks for your listening pleasure.

Quickbeam play…AC Acoustics

Glasgow quartet Quickbeam are a band I’ve followed for over a year now, after first seeing them play some stunning music – the dreamy ‘Seven Hundred Birds’ springs to mind – at a gig near Inverness. Describing themselves atmospheric/cinematic, their music is immersive, delicate and beautiful. They are on the cusp of releasing a beauty of a debut album, more on that below.

Guitarist and singer Andrew Thomson shares a musical treasure of his own, Scottish indie rock band AC Acoustics, for the Play a Song For Me archives.

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Quickbeam Play AC Acoustics – She Kills For Kicks 

There are many things that appeal to me about this track. I’m a sucker for its relentless simplicity and its unforgiving repetition of the vocal, string and drum phrases. There is also an overriding dark, almost ghostly atmospheric that is so apparent in a lot of their work. Its a track that I always feel should have been massive. AC Acoustics always had a reputation of being this incredibly unlucky band when it came to the music industry. Maybe so, but ‘She Kills For Kicks’ is a triumph as far as I’m concerned. It’s an anthem, albeit a dark one, but one that I often put on and never tire of. This is a band that I don’t want to be forgotten.

 I always admired Paul Campions lyrical style. It’s incredibly poetic, very often obscure and always flows beautifully. Equally it has a steam roller like unrelenting, unstoppable force that holds your ear and doesn’t let you turn away. ‘She Kills For Kicks’ is a great example of this. It just doesn’t stop, it wont allow it. Each verse joins with the previous through repetition of the last line which works perfectly.

 

For me, ‘She Kills For Kicks’ is the highlight of a wonderfully diverse and undoubtedly accomplished album. I always come back to this album and in particular this track. Although it is now around thirteen years old, and the band are long since split up, it still sounds so current. As does the whole album. Please come back AC Acoustics, for one last encore.

Quickbeam’s self titled album comes out on June 3rd, through Scottish label Comets and Cartwheels. Check out a sampler, new single ‘Immersed’ and  track I mentioned up there, ‘Seven Hundred Birds’.

For more visit the band here

Cool Things I Found

A few cool things I wanted to share with you this week

The Joy Of A House Concert

I went to an amazing house concert in Edinburgh last week and it occurred to me how valuable it is to have that type of small, informal space for musicians to play in. It felt just like a really friendly community of people who love music and get to witness nicely intimate performances.  I wish the council system here was more supportive, my understanding is they’re trying to shut down shows on the grounds that’s it’s ‘a venue’. The organisers don’t make any money, sell any drinks (you take your own) or receive complaints from the neighbours and they clearly invest a huge amount of their own time in creating events and giving musicians exposure. We’re supposed to be the ‘cultural capital’ of the world, it’s so sad seeing grassroots arts events disappear all the time. From a music fan’s perspective I think house concerts often happen organically for musicians and without knowing where to go it becomes an experience we can be locked out off.

Read more on the Soundhouse website, here’s a clip from one of their upcoming acts.

Almost at the same time I was mailed with the news Damien Jurado is doing a series of house concerts in America. I suppose these are different shows in the sense of being outwardly publicised and ticketed but I’m pleased it’s becoming a trend artists of his calibre are supporting.

Fleetwood Mac’s New Song

Aaaaw ain’t it catchy? Skip the chat and Sad Angel is the first track to be shared from Fleetwood Mac’s upcoming EP. They’re also playing Glasgow in October – points for not skipping Scotland off the map.

A band called Mice Parade

I discovered Mice Parade on my weekly reading of the excellent Said the Gramophone blog. So far I know only that their album Candela came out on Fatcat in March and I like their music, in particular the live tracks below. Take the journey with me…