As part of the ongoing evolution of the site, we thought it might be an interesting idea to tell you all a little about what we’ve been listening to in the course of the last week. This is hopefully going to develop into a nice little weekly feature that will introduce you to some new music. Alternatively, it might not. Sod it, here goes…
Edward Lines (Sonic Youth – Daydream Nation)
Over the last few weeks I’ve decided to educate myself on a band I felt guilty about knowing next to nothing about, except for one song I quite liked on Guitar Hero. Sonic Youth’s 1988 Daydream Nation is hailed by many as one the greatest alternative rock albums of the 80s, so ashamed by this black hole in my musical upbringing, I’ve been trying it out.
Initial impressions – I fucking love it. Dark, distorted, aggressive. There’s so much going on in a post-punk, underground grunge-fuelled way. The Pixies spring to mind when I hear them, how similar is the Pixies’ Vamos and Sonic Youth’s Cross the Breeze? Daydream Nation’s artwork is coincidently from Gerhard Richter’s Candle series, one of which is on display in Tate Modern at the moment: Gerhard Richter: Panorama review here. Stand-out tracks for me (from a nouveau fan’s point of view): as well as the aforementioned – Teen Age Riot, The Sprawl and the short-but-sweet third part of the trilogy at the end of the album, Eliminator Jr.
Harry Harland (The Black Keys – Brothers)
In my darkest hours, which tend to be on the tube, it’s always comforting to have something to rely on. Something reassuring. Something to put you at ease. 2010’s Black Keys album Brothers is currently, to me, that something.
Despite having been around for a while, this is actually the only Black Keys album I own (their quirky hip-hop side project Blakroc aside), meaning “real fans” will scoff at my lack of appreciation… I wasn’t “there when it all began”. I apologise, I wasn’t. I was however “there” when they released this wondrous album, and I am immensely grateful for that.
Despite a line-up consisting of merely a singing guitarist and a drummer, the Black Keys have escaped their early comparisons with the White Stripes and delivered an album of consistent and high quality. Opener Everlasting Light sets a tone for the excellence to follow, but what really impresses about this album is the variance in tempo and style from track to track. The obvious genre here is laid-back southern blues, but all it takes is a listen to personal highlights Tighten Up and Unknown Brother to understand the diversity of songwriting on display.
All in all a terrific album, and more than enough to guide you through the darkest recesses of the Central Line.
Daniel ‘Ferret’ Polak (Roisin Murphy – Tell Everybody)
A project by the lead singer of Moloko, who don’t seem to have done a huge amount since their excellent album Things To Make & Do in 2000, this song by Roisin Murphy is excellent. Having been released in 2009, Tell Everybody is certainly not fresh. However I only heard it a week ago for the first time, and instantly wanted to hear it again.
Not dissimilar to Moloko, it is based on electro beats with a ‘bum-bum’ repitition looping around behind in the mist. Murphy has a great voice, instantly recognisable, and this solo project certainly deserves further investigation. It may be rubbish, I haven’t had a chance to look yet….I’ll report back on that.
My first listens to the song have been very favourable, and for anyone who can stomach some some strong female lyrics, a bit of electronica and something that is a bit funky (ohhh yeeeeaaahhh, Ferret does funk) it’s worth a listen. Worse case scenario, it only lasts 3mins 52 secs.