Spare, somber, and so delicate it feels like it could shatter into a million pieces at the slightest touch, “You or Nothing” is a Sufjan Stevens-esque lament consisting of a single guitar and Fergus’s yearning, otherworldly and gender transcending voice and it’s pretty exceptional.
Go back in time
Lean, melodic and in possession of a particularly sweet, and instantly memorable synth line, “Keep It Together” feels like it’s fallen straight out of 1985 i.e. it’s got that same sheen that lives in every lustrous Scritti Politti ballad from back then, right down to the helium infused vocal. Shiny and lovely.
First things first, the vocal on this is ridiculous, evoking all at once a widescreen Sandy Denny, a larger lunged Beth Orton, and a pining choir boy. The song itself has that same epic weight, feeling and filmic quality that runs rampantly, and romantically through the entirety of Kate Bush’s magnificent “Aerial” lp from 2005, and can’t give it higher praise than that. What a beauty.
A couple of months ago we featured the incredibly sweet and wistful theme song of irrational longing “Sucker” by NY based band High Falls. They have kindly bestowed upon on us their new wanderlust, getting off at the last stop video for “Blue Room”, another super fine track from their latest album “Bingo” which you can dig above.
Here are the new playlists plus bonus piglet. Things are a bit more pop and a little less rock around here this week but you can never predict where the chips’ll fall, but don’t worry, there’s lots to love. It’s the usual drill: you can listen on Soundcloud or Spotify but note that the playlists are slightly different due to availability of certain songs. All good, go on then…
Here is Soundcloud:
Here is Spotify:
From NY’s Little Alien comes a quirky, completely infectious pop-math jam with some positively prog flourishes about maybe someone not seeming as great as they appeared in the beginning. Also want to recommend their self-titled 2017 album (listen below) which is filled to the gills with shockingly accomplished pop/prog twists, turns and hooks and is inexorably cool through and through.
“Keeps Me Out” somehow manages to be both grungy and ethereal, and is reminiscent of Zola Jesus’s more pop infused moments. Epic, tuneful and just big, big, big in every way.
“…My heart in your hand, pumping blood in the sand”, “Behind the Bars” is both a Brian Wilson-esque lament and a squirrely bit of power pop. Full of cascading “oohs” and falsetto, a synth line like you’d hear on the world’s saddest carousel and a wonky guitar to close things out, it’s one sweet thing.
Here’s some gorgeous post-punk to soundtrack staring out the windows of a high speed train, and letting all the blurry neon and desperation wash over you. And while the obvious comparison here would be Interpol or The National, “In the Morning” is far closer to the moody, underrated and timeless 80’s post-punk of Comsat Angels, A Certain Ratio and The Sound than that, and is all the better for it. This track is taken off the new EP “Open District” which is so good that we have to include it here as well.
An airy, spare production coupled with Amber’s incredibly warm and honeyed vocal, lift this beauty to the highest of heights. It occupies the space somewhere between the late 80’s/ early 90’s sinewy soul excursions of Brownstone ( “If You Love Me” & “5 Miles to Empty”) and Ruby Turner’s “It’s Gonna Be Alright” and damn, it’s just as good, which is high praise indeed.