Another week of mixed tracks here, from artists new and old. A special mention on the fact that Rage Against the Machine’s Evil Empire turned 20 years old last Friday. It’s crazy to imagine that I was still learning basic cognitive functions when one of the most important bands to grace our airwaves were already in full swing. Enjoy.
1. ‘IN YOUR RIVER’ – Snoh Aalegra
What a pleasure it is to discover somebody so talented whilst browsing music at random. Originally from Sweden, Snoh Aalegra has reportedly been creating music since the age of 9. Although she was likely producing sounds that her parents would smile at through gritted teeth, her commitment to making music has paid off, with the release of a beautiful EP a couple of weeks ago. A mixture of soul, R&B and pure talent, this is one I’m not going to forget in a hurry. Brilliant track.
2. ‘I DIED DREAMING’ – Acid Tongue
Seattle-based psych rockers Acid Tongue were introduced to me late last week, and I haven’t been able to stop listening to them. With a sound that would fit perfectly in any American drifter movie, the three-piece have recently been touring the UK, hoping to bring their sound to a wider audience. ‘I Died Dreaming’ is a a steady track, full to the brim with catchy hooks and the ability to make you dream of Californian sunshine.
3. ‘IF YOU COULD SEE’ – She drew the gun
A hauntingly eerily and melodically wonderful track from She drew the gun. The Merseyside outfit recently won the Glastonbury Emerging Talent competition, and have been championed by the likes of Steve Lamacq. This track is one of only a limited number of releases, but has made my earballs hungry for more.
4. ‘DOMINO’ – Lionlimb
A track that would feel at home in the 70’s era of peace, love, and inconsistent hygiene habits, ‘Domino’ offers a gorgeous combination of organ, horn and guitar accompaniments . Add to that well-worked vocals and a laid-back drumbeat, and you have a brilliant psychedelic creation from the U.S. duo.
5. ‘PRETTY PIMPIN’ – Kurt Vile
When I included Kurt Vile’s track ‘Lost my Head There’ last week, I claimed that I didn’t know a lot about it. Whilst that was partly true, I’m disappointed that I forgot about ‘Pretty Pimpin,’ a track a few friends and I fell in love with last year. Lyrics that paint a strange picture of a man’s psyche accompany a catchy quality which will leave you humming the chorus to yourself for days.
6. ‘DISAPPOINTED’ – Field Music
I hadn’t heard any music from Sunderland-born indie group Field Music before, but have fallen in love with much of their back-catalogue after hearing ‘Disappointed.’ It’s funky, fun, and actually sounds a little like Stevie Wonder’s ‘Happy Birthday’ now that I think about it…a great introductory track into a brilliant band.
7. ‘BANKROBBER’ – The Clash
A classic track from one of the UK’s most well-known groups. I first heard this song used in Guy Ritchie’s ‘Rock ‘n’ Rolla,’ and hadn’t heard it since I last watched the film about a year ago. The beat is steady, the chorus is infectious, and it really makes me want to watch a brilliant film all over again.
8. ‘TYPICAL GIRLS’ – The Slits
I’m ashamed to say I hadn’t listened to anything by The Slits until a couple of weeks ago. Ever. I don’t even know how it happened, what with their 1979 debut album apparently being genre-defining. There’s just too much goodness out there for one person to explore. This track is one of their most well-known, mixing pop, punk and ska elements brilliantly.
9. ‘INTERGALACTIC’ – Beastie Boys
The lead single from the 1998 album Hello Nasty that also landed them a Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group. An intensely fun, upbeat and futuristic track featuring great lyrics delivered brilliantly, ‘Intergalactic’ has been on heavy rotation this week and I imagine it will be for a while to come.
10. ‘PEOPLE OF THE SUN’ – Rage Against the Machine
I’ve been listening to RATM for just under a decade now. Like most people, I think my first exposure to them would have been through the songs ‘Killing in the Name’ or ‘Bulls on Parade,’ two of their most recognizable tracks. However, it wasn’t until I bought my first Rage album, Evil Empire, that I truly became immersed in the intensely powerful lyrics, and hard-hitting music. ‘People of the Sun’ is the opening track from that album, and I still remember being slightly overwhelmed when I first played it; I don’t think I’d ever heard anything so heavy before, being a bright-eyed 12-year old bassoon player. Or, in other words, a massive nerd. Happy 20 years Evil Empire.