Hey friends, guess what; it’s my birthday tomorrow. I’m getting awfully old. 23? Ew, gross, no thanks. Here’s another lot of musical gems for you. So many great releases last Friday, it was hard to choose my favourites. Enjoy
1. ‘YOU JUST WANT’ – King Creosote
The opening track from King Creosote’s latest album, Astronaut Meets Appleman, ‘You Just Want’ is seven and a half minutes of beautifully constructed instrumentation, melody and Creosote’s amazingly haunting voice. King Creosote, real name Kenneth Anderson, is a Scottish singER-songwriter who has released over 40 albums during his twenty-year career. I haven’t heard anything of his up to this point, and I know I’ve said many times that I look forward to delving into an artist’s back catalogue, but this time I’m a little intimidated. This album is incredible though, and really captures the soul of Celtic folk music. I highly recommend giving it a go.
2. ‘SELF ESTEEM’ – Jamie T
My first interaction with Jamie T’s music was, I imagine, much the same as many people my age; hearing ‘Sheila’ on the field at school, and running home as soon as school finished to try and learn all the words to prove you were cool. I’ve been trying to prove that for years. ‘Self Esteem’ is the closing track to Jamie T’s latest album, Trick. I haven’t had a chance to listen to the full thing yet, but it’s been getting positive reviews so far which makes the prospect more inviting.’Self Esteem’ is decidedly more downbeat than what I’ve come to expect from Jamie T, but it’s a haunting soundscape, characterised by soaring strings and T’s self-reflective lyrics.
3. ‘TOO HIGH TO DIE’ – The Parrots
Let’s liven things up a bit now shall we? ‘Too high to die’ is a rock ‘n’ roll inspired, garage-rock soaked track from The Parrots, a trio who make a lot of noise, but have a lot of fun in the process. Taken from Los Niños Sin Miedo, (“children without fear”, says Google Translate), the track exemplifies the rest of the album; its production sounds like something straight out of the 60s, and there’s an indescribable raw energy throughout. Great stuff.
4. ‘NUDE’ – Baby Strange
Glaswegian outfit Baby Strange released their debut album Want it Need It last Friday, and it’s an ode to classic punk. With heavy, hard-hitting riffs and a production style that would feel right at home in the 70’s, the album is half an hour of intense joy. ‘Nude’ is one of the best tracks to show what I mean, so hopefully it’ll interest you enough to go and check out the rest of the album. Which you should.
5. ‘FLAT BEAT’ – Mr. Ozio
A true classic bit of electro house from French musician Mr. Ozio here. ‘Flat Beat’ was a bonus track from Ozio’s debut album, and soon gained huge popularity, reaching number 1 all across Europe back in 1999. The puppet used in the accompanying video was featured alongside the track in a number of ad campaigns, and remains one of the most nostalgia-inducing images for me.
6. ‘GRAVEL PIT’ – Wu-Tang Clan
One of the Wu’s most well-known tracks, ‘Gravel Pit’ is a full-throttle ride through some great verses performed by Ghostface Killah, Method Man and U-God. Released in late 2000, it did not receive much praise in the US originally, but has since become one of the most loved tracks by the group.
7. ‘ROYALTY CAPES’ – De La Soul
‘Royalty Capes’ was released as a single a little while back, but De La Soul’s latest album and the Anonymous Nobody… was released last Friday. It’s the first release by the group in 12 years, and whilst it is a great album, it doesn’t come close to some of their best work; unfortunately, it’s not quite the comeback album I was looking forward to, but it’s still solid, and a testament to the legendary group.
8. ‘MOOD – WATER VERSION’ – Porches
Porhces is a New-York based project started by musician Aaron Maine. Relying heavily on synth and electronic elements, Porches blend pop and indie rock beautifully, creating mesmerising tracks. They released the album Pool back in February to critical acclaim, and released the Water EP a couple of weeks ago. Water is fundamentally a collection of demos and extra tracks from Pool, but sounds as if its is own project in its own right. Maine’s voice is gorgeous, and the tracks are so damn beautiful it makes you want to cry. Not really, but nearly.
9. ‘ULTRAVIOLET’ – Dagny
The title track from Dagny’s Ultraviolet EP released last Friday, ‘Ultraviolet’ is disgustingly poppy, and I fucking love it. Catchy as anything and full of so many different sounds you can’t focus, it’s the kind of track I’ll find myself singing in the shower for years to come, so thank you Dagny, you wonderful Norwegian Goddess.
10. ‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY’ – Stevie Wonder
Why? Cos it’s my fucking birthday, that’s why. And yes, that is clearly not Stevie Wonder in the picture.