Not-Too-Extreme Makeover: Blog Edition. I thought after keeping the playlist going for 10 weeks straight, it might be time to add a bit of personality to the page. One of my good friends created a logo which I love, and the overall theme/style has changed. I still need to play around with it and edit previous posts, but I’m looking forward to continuing the NEWISH Playlist with these changes.
As always, there is some excellent music featured this week, enjoy.
1. ‘HARVARD’ – Diet Cig
I’ve never had a partner who was a snob and put me down for not living up to their standards, but unfortunately it seems that Alex Luciano has. In ‘Harvard,’ Luciano and band-mate Noah Bowman crash through a tale of being passed over for something “better,” with a brilliant sense of vivaciousness. “Fuck your Ivy League sweater” is my new motto.
2. ‘SEX & DRUGS’ – A Giant Dog
Born out of Austin, Texas, A Giant Dog have built a reputation for playing hard, audacious rock that appeals to those on the fringes of society. ‘Sex & Drugs’ barrels through itself, not holding up for a moment. The lyrics describe drug use and various sexual encounters, with singers Sabrina Ellis and Andrew Cashen claiming that they “can’t even remember being young.” However, delivered in such a beautifully harmonious way, it’s hard to believe that A Giant Dog are even concerned about this fact. Brilliant and upbeat, this track comes from their third album, which is a journey through debauchery and great music.
3. ‘WALK TO THE ONE YOU LOVE’ – Twin Peaks
Another third album release here, this time in the form of Twin Peaks, a Chicago garage-rock outfit with a lot of talent. ‘Walk to the One You Love’ is chilled-out, pleasant and a great opener to their latest LP Down in Heaven. Mixed in with the classic garage-rock sound are flickers of funk and jazz, offering a track that will require a few listens to take in all that’s going on.
4. ‘PURE MORNING’ – Placebo
It’s crazy to think that Placebo have been around for 20 years. I first heard them about 10 years ago when they released Meds; the title track of that album was constantly on Kerrang and Scuzz, and being a hard-core 13 year-old, those channels were always on when my mum was out. Yeah, so rock ‘n’ roll. ‘Pure Morning’ is from their second album Without You I’m Nothing, and is one of my favourites by the band. I love Brian Molko’s delivery and the hugely tense build-up to the final chorus.
5. ‘AROUND’ – My bubba
I’m not normally big on acoustic-folk music, but I had to change my mind just a little when I heard ‘Around.’ A simple, easy-going track that is performed so beautifully I actually did the “close-my-eyes-and-sing” bit when the harmonies kicked in. Absolutely great stuff from My bubba, a Swedish-Icelandic duo that I’ve only just discovered but am very much looking forward to investigating further.
6. ‘ROGUES’ – Methyl Ethel
I know I included two of Methyl Ethel’s tracks weeks ago, but they’re just so damn good, and I went to see them last Tuesday at their first ever UK show. Not that I’m bragging or anything, just stating the facts. Another fact is that they were fantastic live. After a bit of a shaky start due to problems with the sound, they absolutely smashed it. Front man Jake Webb is eccentric, unpredictable, and cares deeply about his craft; that much was obvious as he appeared to get angry at malfunctioning equipment, claiming that he wanted to sound great for the crowd. They’re playing at The Old Blue Last tonight and I highly recommend attending if you can.
7. ‘ANYWAY’ – Slum Sociable
What are they putting in the water in Australia? Insanely creative and psychedelic acts seem to be growing at an alarming rate over there. Supporting Methyl Ethel last week were Melbourne-based Slum Sociable, a fusion of jazz, psychedelia and hip-hop. Their set was unlike anything I’d heard before, and I hope they return to the UK at some point in the future.
8. ‘SO HUMAN’ – Rosie Lowe feat. Little Simz
An eerie, hazy R&B track laced with synths and dreamy vocals, ‘So Human’ is Rosie Lowe’s latest offering. Taken from her album Control released back in February, this version of the track features fellow Londoner Little Simz, who drops in for two verses. Adding a new layer to the original has worked, making this a track worth a few listens.
9. ‘BABOO’ – Pixx
Another bit of dreamy music now from Chipstead-born Pixx. Signed to 4AD, Pixx released her debut EP last year, and has followed it up with a great track here. Ethereal, swelling and chock-full of pop sensibility, ‘Baboo’ suggests more great things to come from Pixx.
10. ‘DON’T ASK ME TO BE LONELY’ – The Dubs
Classic 1950’s doo-wop from The Dubs. Combining outstanding harmonies, simple backing instrumentation and a melodic line that could make doves cry, ‘Don’t Ask Me to Be Lonely’ has been stuck in my head all week. Although doo-wop has had a resurgence in popularity recently, I don’t think it’s quite going to tip over the brink of full mainstream success. That doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy gems like this one though. Well, not all of us.