Tag: Father John Misty

This Week Playlist

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After a few weeks off, here is the latest This Week Playlist, ten songs that are tickling our ears right now and are primed and ready for you to enjoy:

1. Kendrick Lamar – The Heart Part 4

So I confess that I don’t share the adoration for Kendrick’s work that seems obligatory for music fans in 2017. I’ve liked plenty of his work, but his status as – in his own words – the greatest rapper alive has eluded me so far. However when friend-in-exile Miceal (who I think may have given up his Catholic faith to follow the religion of Kendrick instead) messaged last Friday to say that The Heart Part 4 had dropped, I was excited to hear it. It chops and changes in style, and certainly suffers from the braggadocious spirit that blights a lot of hip hop, yet spending a few minutes with the lyrics of this track is hugely rewarding.

The whole world goin’ mad

Bodies is adding up, market’s about to crash

Niggas is fake rich, bitches is fake bad

Blacks that act white, whites that do the dab

Donald Trump is a chump, know how we feel, punk

Tell ’em that God comin’

And Russia need a replay button, y’all up to somethin’

 

2. Gorillaz, Vince Staples  – Ascension

If you’re not a fan of the Gorillaz then it might be best you skip this blog for a few months. They’re one of those bands for me: an act that can go in any new direction and make it seem like it was the perfect choice. They combine hip hop, pop and indie in a way few other bands have ever managed, and with a new album on the way, it promises to be a big few months for them. On Ascension they’ve recruited one of the most exciting men in music Vince Staples for vocal duties. The result ends up sounding like a space age gospel infused pop track; it’s a little bonkers but that’s the fun of it.

 

3. Drones Club – Hurricane

Drones Club produced two of my favourite songs of 2016 and have delivered yet another stunning record. Straddling the fence between dance and indie, the electronic chorus soars into the sky. Every listen feels familiar – it’s rooted in an early 90s baggy feel – and yet it feels absolutely fresh. I cannot wait for them to deliver an album.

 

4. HVOB – Deus

I only discovered Austrian dance duo HVOB (Her Voice Over Boys) recently but I’ve been impressed with that I’ve heard. Deus starts slowly, repetitive vocals coiled around intimidating synths; then the beat drops. I love dance music that is simple yet oh so effective, and Deus is absolutely from that mold. It conjures up feelings of space travel and loneliness; danger and claustrophobia. I like this more with every listen.

 

5. IDLES – Exeter

I blogged only this morning about seeing IDLES recently and Exeter was a massive highlight of their set. It’s full of anger and contempt; the frustration of growing up and living in a place where ‘nothing ever happens’. It somehow combines the sort of lyrical topic The Streets reveled in, matched by a raw punk aggression and elevated by a chorus that seems to satirize Britpop.

 

6. Honey Tower – Couture

Couture is the sort of industrial electro that would have been at home in the soundtracks of either the Matrix or – for those who remember it – Hackers. It’s a pretty bad ass track; rumbling, robotic and firmly underground in its sensibilities. This is my first exposure to Honey Tower, but I’ll be keeping an eye out for the German’s future works.

 

7. Sun Lil Moon – Bergen to Trondheim

This is a song that skirts ever so close to being beyond the pale. Maybe I’ve listened to far too much Father John Misty, but to my ears this is one of the darkest, sarcastic and satirical songs I’ve heard in a very long time. It seems ever so much like Sun Lil Moon has had enough of celebrities and Twitter culture and their immediate – obvious, and poorly-considered – reactions to sad events as they globe-trot around the world. Complete with canned cheering and a refrain of “Me, we, me, we, me, we, me, we” I’m still struggling to come to terms with the boldness.

 

8. Father John Misty – Total Entertainment Forever

The joy of FJM is the numerous layers through which you can appreciate his work. There is the melody; Total Entertainment Forever is a catchy pop song with a familiarity that comes from a sound that has produced countless hits before; it’s sure to leave foots tapping. Yet then there’s the lyrics, and the biting take down of modern life. Then there’s the motivation, and the questions over where observation ends and sarcasm, satire and provocation begins. He is, for my money, one of the most important song-writers around at the moment and – with his new album out next week – we should all be excited.

 

9. Billie Eilish – Bellyache

I’ve been wanting to post this for a few weeks. The outrageously young Billie Eilish has delivered a stunning piece of electro pop that seems to be about, well… murder. From the stunning production to the simple yet oh-so-effective vocals (a la Lorde) Bellyache is just a joy from start to finish.

 

10. HalfNoise – French Class

HalfNoise is Zac Farro, formerly the drummer in Paramore. French Class is from his recent The Velvet Face EP and combines indie sensibilities with a sunny uplifting – slightly disco-y – sound.

 

The Bonus List

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As a special Friday bonus here is the Bonus List – the extension of our weekly A List (posted every Sunday) and another chance to showcase some of the other songs we’re still really liking right now.

[If you’re particularly interested, I set out how it works in last week’s debut; if not, just read on and enjoy the music] 

There are some cracking songs on here; the first seven weeks – or so – of 2017 have been rather kind to music fans. So here we go, here are 11-20 in our current chart.

 

11. The XX – Dangerous (fourth week; up 2) 

A tremendous statement of intent to kick off new album I See You. Every time I hear the opening notes I can’t help but smile at the joys this track – and the album – provide.

12.  Mixhell, Joe Goddard – Crocodile Boots (Soulwax Remix) (third week; down nine) 

A five minute industrial revolution full of dancing percussion samples and snippets.

13. Magana – Pages (new entry)

Twinged with sadness, Pages is the end of a story which seems to have come to an abrupt and not entirely mutual ending.

14. The XX – Performance (third week; up two) 

A heart-dropping, mournful and gripping track that finds The XX back on familiar ground. Romy’s vocals are – as usual – emotional in a way so few other singers can manage.

15. POOLCLVB – Waiting for You (new entry)

Waiting for You sounds very much like the child of the nu-rave scene, with memories of Delphic and Klaxons coming flooding back.

16. Stage Van H – Orange Beach – Marko Melo Remix (fourth week; down four) 

Orange Beach has a top-line that constantly teases you; dangling melodies and noises but withdrawing then before you get too comfortable and drawing your ears and imagination back to its dynamic underbelly.

17. King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – Sleep Drifter (new entry)

Sleep Drifter is the musical equivalent of being awake for 48 hours; everything is there but you’re not sure you can piece it all together.

18. Father John Misty – Ballad of the Dying Man (new entry)

On the Ballad of the Dying Man, Father John Misty has found himself back at his mischievous best.

19. Tall Tall Trees – Freedays (third week; down four) 

Sounds like a product of vast and hazy country landscapes, and would comfortably sound at home alongside records by Fleet Foxes and Jonathan Wilson.

20. Tourists – Masquerade (new entry)

Synths, bass, guitars, drums and vocals come together like the five Power Rangers to create a grand and ambitious record that sounds both fresh and vintage.

This Week Playlist: Seven new songs to tickle your ears

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I’m struggling to limit myself to only posting 10 new songs a week at the moment. Good music seems to be coming from everywhere: returning legends, acts that I’ve grown to love over the past couple of years and new bands that I’m admiring. The This Week Playlist is once again very strong with a combination of all the above.

The idea of this playlist is simple: here are seven songs I’ve heard a couple of times that have really impressed. This playlist is my ‘go to’ for music over the next week, and stuff from here – and our tracks of the day postings – are what then go onto the A List every Sunday if I’m loving them enough.

So without any more chatting, here is the This Week Playlist: seven new songs to tickle your ears.

1.Vince Staples – BagBak

If you asked me to name the most exciting man in music right now, I’d – hopefully – make a strong case for Vince Staples. His Prima Dona EP last year was the best I heard, and BagBak again finds him on top form. Straying into racial politics, Staples manages to say a lot whilst ensuring every other element in the song is damn near perfect.

2.Future Islands – Ran 

Future Islands’s Waiting on You was my favourite song of 2014 and so – after lead singer Samuel T Herring’s foray into hip hop – I’m pretty damn happy to have them back. They’ve returned with Ran, which is made up of their usual brilliant formula. Driving bass, keyboard euphoria and heartbreaking vocals, they will undoubtedly make many festival fans happy again this summer.

3. POOLCLVB – Waiting for You

Sydney producer POOLCLVB released his You + Me EP in early January, which is where Waiting for You comes from. Waiting for You sounds very much like the child of the nu-rave scene, with memories of Delphic and Klaxons coming flooding back.

4.Father John Misty – Ballad of the Dying Man

If you haven’t come across FJM yet then you’re missing out. He writes beautiful songs that hark back to blue-eyed soul with hints of folk, country as well as rock and pop. But the most enjoyable part of his songs is unpicking the irony and sarcasm that weaves throughout his lyrics, trying to extrapolate who is really the target of his fire. Here in the Ballad of the Dying Man, he’s found himself back at his mischievous best:

So says the dying man once I’m in the box
Just think of all the overrated hacks running amok
And all of the pretentious, ignorant voices that will go unchecked
The homophobes, hipsters, and 1%
The false feminists he’d managed to detect
Oh, who will critique them once he’s left?

5.Lowly – Prepare the Lake

This is my first introduction to Danish quintet Lowly, with Prepare the Lake falling somewhere in the indietronica/electro-pop bracket. They have a new album [Heba] coming soon and the band have said of Prepare The Lake: “We’d been playing it for quite some time live before recording it and the form sort of grew out of us during concerts, so perhaps it has more of live feel to it than the other songs on the album.”

6.King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – Sleep Drifter

A few weeks ago I wrote about the Field Day line-up saying there were plenty of bands I hadn’t heard of, but was looking forward to checking out. Here we have our first example; King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – what a name – are an Australian psych-rock band. Sleep Drifter is the musical equivalent of being awake for 48 hours; everything is there but you’re not sure you can piece it all together.

7.Tourists – Masquerade 

Tourists definitely fall into the ‘ones to watch’ category in my world. 2016 singles Cut and Run and Quiet Room both got a lot of listens, and this five-piece from Torquay make a strong start t0 2017 with Masquerade. Synths, bass, guitars, drums and vocals come together like the five Power Rangers – yeah, I went there – to create a grand and ambitious record that sounds both fresh and vintage.