An absolutely incredible mixture of music this week. At least I think so. If you don’t agree then you’re wrong and can leave. But don’t really. Enjoy.
1. ‘THE POOL’ – Slow Hollow
I know it says ‘The’ Hollows on the song up there, but after searching for these guys for a while, I found them to be called ‘Slow Hollows.’ At least on social media, anyway. Spotify’s recommendation tools are pretty great, and this LA group were associated with Franky Flowers who have previously featured on the playlist. ‘The Pool’ is a gritty, upbeat track taken from their debut LP, I’m Just as Bad as You Are, which was released in 2014.
2. ‘COMING OF AGE’ – Julia Jacklin
The word “obsessed” is thrown around incredibly loosely these days, and I’m not one to use a word inappropriately. But what I will do inappropriately is profess my obsession for Miss Jacklin here. This is the third single from the Aussie’s upcoming debut album, and it’s made me just as excited as the previous two tracks released. It’s much more up-tempo than ‘Pool Party’ or ‘Leadlight,’ showing what Jacklin can achieve with a fuller sound. It’s great. I’m seeing her next Wednesday night and I’m ridiculously excited. Some might say obsessively so.
3. ‘WALRUS’ – D.D Dumbo
Another brilliant artist with a track from an upcoming debut LP, D.D Dumbo use sminimalist sounds to back his amazing voice, creating dreamy, poppy soundscapes. Oh, and would you look that, he’s Australian. I can’t keep up with all this incredible music coming out of that place at the moment. It’s not fair. D.D Dumbo’s album Utopia Defeated is set for release on the 17th of October, so keep an eye out.
4. ‘DON’T SWEAT THE TECHNIQUE’ – Eric B. & Rakim
Taken from the duo’s fourth studio album of the same name, ‘Don’t Sweat the Technique’ is a masterful representation of a jazz and hip-hop combination. With Eric B.’s top-quality production skills on full show and Rakim’s aggressive delivery, ‘Don’t Sweat the Technique’ epitomises the art created during hip-hop’s Golden Age. The song was used in a rollerblading video game called ‘Aggressive Inline’ that my brother and I used play constantly when we were younger. When it came on the radio in the office last week, the nostalgia hit me like a freight train.
5. ‘SEVEN WORDS’ – Weyes Blood
Weyes Blood featured on a track last week by Drugdealer, and I was so entranced by her voice that I became lost in her work. It can be calming, cutting, and at times incredibly moving. I made the comparison between Blood and Karen Carpenter last week, and it’s more apparent here. It’s mainly because they share the same vocal range, so I think it’s slightly unfair to compare every contralto singer (yes, I looked it up, I’m not that clever) to Carpenter. Whatever the case, ‘Seven Words’ is a beautifully mesmerising track that will make you want to explore Blood’s previous releases.
6. ‘IMMORAL’ – Ed Harcourt
Ed Harcourt is somebody whose work I have not come across before. That’s good, in a way, as it means I can plunge into his rich back catalogue and dig around. Harcourt’s debut album was nominated for a Mercury Prize back in 2001, and since then he’s been releasing steadily and writing for a number of other artists. His seventh full-length album, Furnaces, was released last week, and it’s big, powerful and fully engrossing. The songs aren’t necessarily anthems, but they’re so multi-layered, you’ll find yourself fully engaged at all times.
7. ‘THESE WORDS’ – The Lemon Twigs
When I first heard ‘These Words’ on the radio last week, I assumed that The Lemon Twigs were a 70’s psychedelia/funk outfit. Instead, I find out they’re two brothers (aged 17 and 19 respectively) who are really fucking talented. There’s no denying that the duo (who have expanded to a four-piece for their live shows) have drawn influence from the likes of The Beatles, and even the Beach Boys in places, but it’s their interpretation of those sounds that make them unique. Combining musical ideas from all over the place, the brothers have created rich, beautiful music. They’re debut album, Do Hollywood, is set for release on the 14th of October.
8. ‘TEDDY I’M READY’ – Ezra Furman
This song has been doing the rounds on the office radio for the last couple of weeks, and it always gets itself stuck deep into my psyche whenever I hear it. The opening track to Furman’s latest EP, ‘Teddy I’m Ready’ conjures up images of Teddy-Boys, which is something implied by the track’s title, as well as its 50’s rock ‘n’ roll sound. There are a number of modern artists who try to imitate early rock ‘n’ roll and doo-wop styles, but few pull it off. Furman is an exception to that.
9. ‘SOUVENIR SHOP ROCK’ – Savoy Motel
Remember Savoy Motel? They were that group I featured ages ago, because they’d just released a new track but that track wasn’t available on Spotify at the time, so I added a different track, ‘Hot One,’ to the list that week. It seems like they added ‘Souvenir Shop Rock’ to Spotify not long after, but I missed it back then. So here it is now. It’s bloody great. Old-school, laid-back, and oozing with cool, it’s a track that has been on heavy repeat over the last week.
10. ‘SPIT IT OUT’ – Slaves
These lovely lads from Kent exploded onto the scene in 2014, and I’ve been a fan ever since. They’ve brought hard-hitting punk to a wider audience, making it more accessible for those, like me, who might not have gotten into the kind of music they play without actively seeking it out. I guess their marketing team should be commended for that as well, hey? ‘Spit it Out’ is the first single from Slaves’ upcoming release Take Control, due for release on the 30th of September.