Tag Archives: discovery

Bye Bye Love

Bye Bye Love
Bye Bye Love

It seems like so many great musicians have passed away recently, a sadness eased in part by a then abounding celebration of their music. When I heard about the Phil Everly’s passing I thought immediately of this song, ‘Bye Bye Love’. My first memory of it is finding myself singing it on a subway in Hong Kong, en route to take me back to China (where I was living at the time). Coming from the grit and grime of Chinese streets Hong Kong seemed like paradise, a place where it was easy to be (if a lot less fascinating). When I was homesick it reminded me of home, when I left its glimmering harbour this song summed up how I felt.

I have no idea when I actually first heard it, most likely a decade before. I think – for my generation at least – so many of The Everly Brothers songs are the same; they seem to have travelled osmosis into your head and your heart. What a great legacy.

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I Met Up with The King

I Met Up With The King
I Met Up With The King

Yesterday I listened to First Aid Kit‘s album The Black and The Blue all the way through, maybe for the first time. This song caught me on the lyrics. The rest of the Swedish duo’s material is also great, check it out if you haven’t already.

 

Elephant Micah Plays…KLF

ElephantMicah1High

Elephant Micah aka Joe O’Connell is an artist I was hugely excited to discover.  The multi-instrumentalist from Indiana writes and sings proper songs, the type that make you catch your breath, cry or smile wryly to yourself. Considerately and poetically penned and – although experimental in parts – they possess an old fashioned gravity.

As a musical entity Elephant Micah spans over a decade, from the debut LP Low Energy Dance Music in 2002 to the latest endeavour Globe Rush Progressions. Here Joe talks about an intriguing influence, notorious acid house pioneers The KLF and their classic album Chill Out, recorded live in 1989.

Elephant Micah

Elephant Micah Plays…KLF ‘Chill Out’

I was doing some free-form internet searching on “ambient music.”  I wanted to know what albums people consider to be part of the “ambient” canon.  A citation of the KLF caught my attention.  Is this the same 1990s pop group that set fire to a million pounds sterling?  My focus shifted entirely to the KLF—their ideas, their antics, and their music.  The group’s story continues to hold my attention.

Chill Out belongs to a tradition of club music for relaxation and repose, styled in contrast with dance music itself.  The KLF designates the sheep as Chill Out totem animal.  Sheep occupy the album cover, resting at pasture, and the early moments of the album audio, bleating in a call-and-response with their human shepherd.  In addition to appreciating this album as a work of sound collage (mixed live from mostly pre-recorded sources), I take interest in it as a kind of “techno pastoral”—an idealization of the countryside by electronic musicians.

Check it out the album here:

You can listen to Joe’s most recent Elephant Micah release ‘Globe Rush Progressions’ below, ‘Marie’s Hair’, ‘Ever Greener’ and the jingle bell tinkling ‘Jesus Christ’ are my personal highlights.

I’m also a huge fan of this collaboration with Hiss Golden Messenger

…and this track from 2012 release Louder Than Thou. If that’s not enough to make you buy the entire backcatalogue more fool you.

Pick Of The Past

This is little Play a Song For Me’s 100th wordpress post! A tiny figure for some, for me an occasion akin to getting an ice cream on a sunny day.

For those of you who are new to the blog musicians I discover share suggestions of new, rare and important artists/songs/albums. Along the way other things have also evolved – I invent sporadic new features (for the last month I’ve been posting a happy song every day), review new material and spraff on about new discoveries. Other folks stories are at the heart of why I’ve kept up the writing, I always love reading submissions and love to see that people still reading them.

End ramble: to celebrate and in case you missed them here are some great picks. Click the links to take you to the full articles and music!

The Son(s) recommend Richard Swift and Tim Weary
The Son(s) recommend Richard Swift and Tim Weary

The Son(s) Play…Tim Weary & Richard Swift 

The first ever post I received was from Karl of The Son(s), whose music is beautiful.

Mike!

Mike Nisbet Plays…Townes Van Zandt

I’m slightly ashamed to say I’d never heard of Townes Van Zandt before this post from Mike, who himself is supremely talented. Check out the full read here.

Tommy-Johnson_ALCORUB_Delta-Haze

Adam Stafford Plays…Tommy Johnson

A personal story you’ll remember, a blues record you’ll love. Adam has a new album coming out really soon and it’s a beauty. Keep your eye on Song By Toad for more.

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Olympic Swimmers Play…Richard Youngs 

Without a doubt my favourite picture submitted, Glasgow’s Olympic Swimmers wrote a beautiful piece on Richard Youngs.

Early Birds

Human Pyramids Play…Mum

A close contender in the picture stakes, Human Pyramids shared a love of the glacial Mum.

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State Broadcasters Play…The Bhundu Boys

The tragic story of The Bhundu Boys, retold by Glasgow’s State Broadcasters.

Have a root around for many more great things in the friends and contributors section. Listen, discover, enjoy.

Gareth Dickson Plays…Ned Collette

Let’s regale you with a tale music fans! I caught singer-songwriter Gareth Dickson at a recent Edinburgh house concert and was bowled over by the intricate, wistful worlds he conjured with his deft fingertips. An artist who demonstrates incredible skill, his songs have strikingly original compositions and are filled with intricate, mesmerising guitar work.

Here Gareth fills us in on an influence and friend, Australian singer-songwriter Ned Collette.

Gareth High Res

Gareth Dickson Plays…Ned Collette

I have chosen an Australian singer/songwriter called Ned Collette; you can start anywhere with him but if I had to pick a couple of tracks they would be Boulder and The Country With A Smile.

I met Ned in Australia when I was playing there in Vashti Bunyan‘s band. He and his girlfriend came up to me after the gig and we got talking. He told me he was a musician and was planning to come to Europe soon and we swapped email addresses.

For me it’s just great pop music, sometimes he reminds me a little of David Bowie, other times Leonard Cohen, but essentially he has his own voice. It’s usually catchy and melodic but there is always a depth to it as well.

True to his word he came to Europe and actually spent some time living in Glasgow. We met up a few times for a drink and he and his Ozzie pals are among the only people I’ve met who like beer more than Weegies do. I remember one of them in the kitchen at a party completely wasted with his mobile phone in an empty pint glass to act as a kind of bass boost for some awful techno he was dancing too. Hi-tech stuff. They have great phrases too, as anyone else who wasted a good part of their youth watching Neighbours and Home And Away already knows.

Find out more about Ned Collette here and check out a selection of Gareth’s music below! His live set is memorable, catch it if you can.

Crushing On: Dark Dark Dark

Dark Dark Dark

Like most music fans I listen to a lot of new things. Some of it’s understated, some of it’s try hard, some of it sounds like that band you loved ten years ago, some of it’s great, memorable or beautiful and of course ends up here.

Rarely does it happen that I love something new instantly. Yesterday I heard a song by Dark Dark Dark on the radio and it torpedoed right into me, demanding to be listened to. I’ve discovered they are from Minneapolis, have a massive following (oops, late to the party) and are also described as a ‘folk band’. For me the music goes much deeper, it quivers with an orchestral intensity that you don’t tend to encounter in the genre and proves the accordion is an excellent instrument. In terms of lyrics they clicked with me, I get the songs and the songs get me.

I’ve now listened to their entire back catalogue, which feels like journeying through a black and white gypsy circus. Check out album Who Needs Who below, hope you enjoy.

I like a lot of music but I love this.

If you listen to something this week…make it a total mismatch

Some things which have landed fairly recently and I believe to be well worth a listen. I warn you now that should you be looking for coherence there’s no theme or common genre, just great music in no particular order.

Embers, Hollow Cage 

Newly hyped track from post-rock Manchester four piece Embers, it’s instantly striking, entirely haunting and catches you right where it should.

 

Sinkane, Runnin

New soul and funk from Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist Ahmed Gallab, this track feels light and free.

 

Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Psychedelic Pill

Even though this is from the newly released album Psychedelic Pill Young’s style has remained so constant it makes me feel like I’m 19 again, having just bought the album Harvest on CD for £5 in Fopp and listening to ‘Old Man’ and ‘Heart of Gold’ over and over, until the CD got a bit scratched.  In short the whole album isn’t a disappointment, it could be listened to for the sublime guitar alone.

 

Japandroids, The House The Heaven Built 

Amongst all this instrumental, electro and low-fi 2012 business I’ve been missing proper, play it as loud as you possibly can, rock music. Here’s one for you.

Daughter, Love

How pretty is this? Reccomended through Youtube a hauntingly beautiful track titled ‘Love’ from the London trio Daughter’s debut EP ‘The Wild Youth’.

Check them out on soundcloud, this song ‘Medicine’ is also incredible.

Papercranes

A post (almost) unrelated to the hurricane…

On Saturday I spoke to my good friend if mine who lives in the East Village about which record stores in New York might be a good shout for a new feature. He recommended Other Music as one of the only ones remaining which sells CDs and not just vinyl- apparently it has “a great range of indie and eclectic stuff–even a good world section which includes great music from Nigeria and weird oddities like recordings of insects in tropical rain forests or Thai pop music of the seventies.” 

Sounds the business right?

I hadn’t had the time to look it up properly before the hurricane hit, but as I, along with most of the world, continue to fret about everyone over there it’s been in the back of my mind. The store’s located on East 4th Street Manhattan which is out of the evacuation zone, but the website’s down right now so for the sake of research I scooped some sessions from the store instead…

The marvellous Cate Le Bon

 

 

The mighty Iron & Wine

 

The melody making Camera Obscura

 

Keep your chin up NYC!

Conquering Animal Sound Play…Stephan Bodzin

Glasgow duo Conquering Animal Sound, who are James Scott and Anneke Kampman,  made me think twice about techno. Never particularly my genre of choice their dazzling tracks are pretty enthralling, so I was pretty keen to see who they themselves would rate highly.

Stephan Bodzin’s “Liebe Ist…”

Anneke and I regularly wax lyrical about this album in interviews. It’s easily one of my very favourite records, and I’m sure that as
long as people are asking us “What are your influences?” I’ll be giving this album a mention. It’s entirely instrumental, it’s dark,
minimal techno, and it’s very, very repetitive, but the layers of rhythm, texture and melody that it contains are breathtaking at times, and I defy you to put on any of the tracks and fail to be moved by it.

Eye opening stuff!

After the success of last year’s Kammerspiel Conquering Animal Sound are busy working on their next album, hurrah! You can find them on tumblr

My little sister loves…Nina Nesbitt

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Lynn Bell Loves…Nina Nesbitt

There are a couple of reasons I started blogging about music in particular, one of the biggest ones is my little sister Lynn. I share great musical things with her that she ends up loving and might not have found otherwise. I thought if I could do that for more people – help aid brilliant discoveries – it would be pretty good use of time.

We’ve been to see a lot of music together and she has just moved to Glasgow, so I’m sure there will be plenty more gigs a-comin. She loves Scottish singer Nina Nesbitt…here’s why.

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It’s kind of a funny one as last year I was reviewing a band, Dead Man’s Waltz for The List, at Henry’s Cellar Bar in Edinburgh and got chatting to a photographer who was raving about this girl. Enjoy!

Coming in the not too distant future, for which band my big sister uttered the words “I haven’t loved a band this much since Boyzone.”

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