Such a great week for new music. There were so many releases that I couldn’t quite fit them all in this week’s playlist. I personally think the choice this week is brilliant, and I hope you agree. Enjoy.
1. ‘PYRITE AMMONITE’ – Faith Elliot
Oh what a beautiful playfulness Faith Elliot brings to the English Language. Whilst managing to toy with the conventions of pronunciation, Elliot exposes her gorgeous voice and song-writing skills, apparent here on ‘Pyrite Ammonite.’ Contained on her latest release, a 7-part mini album titled Insects, this track has become one that I try and sing to myself in the shower. Great stuff.
2. ‘LUCKY’ – Devendra Banhart
There’s a mixture of influences on display in Devendra Banhart’s style, and they combine to make ‘Lucky’ an absolutely wonderful track. With a strong vibe of some of Lou Reed’s best work, plus an addition of some slacker rock sounds, Banhart has created a gorgeous, endearing sound that is immediately gripping.
3. ‘PENN AR LANN’ – Yann Tiersen
An absolutely gorgeous piece from French composer Yann Tiersen here. How wonderful a gift it must be to be able to transport people’s minds to completely different places through the power of music. I often tell people how much I love music, but it often feels hollow and cliché. It’s always easier to show people a piece that represents how much and why I love music, and I think I’ve found another one of those in ‘Penn Ar Lann.’
4. ‘GEMINI FEED’ – Banks
Banks is one of those artists who I don’t have on constant repeat, but whose music I consume as soon as it’s released. Her latest album, The Altar, is a step forward from her 2014 debut Goddess, in that it explores more playful tempos and melodies. Her voice is once again though, the thing that ties everything together masterfully. ‘Gemini Feed’ is one of the catchiest, most infectious tracks on the LP, and it will likely feature heavily in my future listening sessions, despite my past listening habits.
5. ‘VALLEY OF THE SHADOWS’ – Origin Unknown
Released back in the year of my birth, 1993, ‘Valley of the Shadows’ is an absolutely huge jungle track by Origin Unknown, a group consisting of industry veterans Andy C and Ant Miles. I hadn’t heard the track until last week as jungle isn’t usually my go-to genre. But it’s so addictive, and so well-produced that it’s not hard to see why it’s been massively influential since its release.
6. ‘TELL ME WHAT I DON’T KNOW’ – Danny Brown
People who know me well, know that I love the TV show ‘The Wire.’ Possibly a little too much. So when ‘Tell Me What I Don’t Know’ came on during my listen through Danny Brown’s latest album, I loved his mentions of dope fiends and stash houses. Even though Brown is from Detroit and not ‘The Wire’s’ home city of Baltimore, the connection made me smile. Other than that, Brown’s delivery is subtly powerful, and the backing track here is immense.
7. ‘PICTURE ME’ – Dave
I’ve said before that I love hip-hop, but that my favourite kind of it is the music created during its ‘Golden Era,’ and it’s no lie that I don’t give a lot of modern hip-hop a chance, especially if it’s from the UK. However, after hearing ‘Picture Me’ by Dave, I realise how idiotic I’ve been, and how much great stuff is coming out of the UK. It’s no good being stuck in the past in music; it’s important to understand it, but it should be constantly evolving and adapting to cultural changes. Dave has shown here, as in the rest of his music, that he respects older music but definitely has his own agenda. Brilliant stuff.
8. ‘WEARY’ – Solange
Released as part of her latest album A Seat at the Table last Friday, ‘Weary’ is a brilliant track that shows off Solange Knowles’ gorgeously soulful voice. With playful inter-changing melodic lines and a wonderfully syncopated backing beat, the track takes a few listens to fully absorb everything that is going on, but it never gets boring; I’ve had it on constant repeat this weekend, and it surprises me every time.
9. ‘JESUS’ SON’ – Placebo
Brian Molko’s voice is one of the most distinctive of the 90’s, and although it’s matured a whole lot on this track, there’s no denying who it is. That to me is one of the most appealing things about Placebo, but there’s also no denying their ability to create amazing fucking music. On show here are sounds indicative of 90’s indie, but also a knowledge of the current music landscape that makes ‘Jesus’ Son’ a track that will surely get heavy radio play; it’s brilliant.
10. ‘SORCERESS’ – Opeth
I hadn’t heard of Swedish metallers Opeth until ‘Sorceress’ came on the radio last week. I wish I’d heard of them sooner though; these virtuosi create heavy, enigmatic pieces that are as interesting to try and dissect as they are brilliant to lose yourself to. Taken from their latest album of the same name, ‘Sorceress’ shows how fun metal gets when musician push themselves to their limits creatively.