Archive for February, 2018

A good many things feel old school this week, and some actually are. Being a bit pressed for time, the liner notes are a bit incomplete, and I may get back to them as the week progresses. But since the important thing is the music, and it is Monday. Here is this weeks list.

(Spotify Link Below)

Baby I Love You—Ryan Adams

An upbeat, jangly, guitar-based bit of pop-rock to start us off somewhere between 60’s radio and Marshall Crenshaw, which is kind of the same thing.

Formidable Cool (Edit)—Wolf Alice

This band is growing on me with each release. Another fine  indie track from these folks.

Thought Contagion—Muse

This “progressive” Rock band is back with their trademark full-stadium rock sound.


To bring it down a bit, an acoustic number with a bit of a jazz feel and Khehlani’s sweet voice.

Sister (radio Edit)—Tracey Thorn, Corinne Bailey Rae

This sisterhood song has a kick to it. Even though ti’s a mid tempo 4 on the floor, you can still fee the soul.

Blessing Me Again—Snoop Dogg, Rance Allen

Snoops seems to keep going from strength to strength lately with another track that sounds more like 70’s Stevie Wonder than what we generally expect from a rapper, this time in a gospel vein.

Hear My train a Comin’—Jimi Hendrix

Now this is what I’m talking about. The first pre-release track from “Both Sides of the Sky” (out March 9th) was a just about OK version of “Mannish Boy” that sounded like a warm-up number, but this is vintage Hendrix. OK, it’s not the first time we’ve heard a version of this track, but it is an excellent one.

Los Ageless (Spotify Studios)—St. Vincent

OK, so this is technically from an album released last year, but this solo acoustic version makes it sound like a different song, and the vocals are up front so you can hear the lyrics as they deserve to be heard.


This feel-good love song with the sing-along chorus just felt like it deserved to be on the list.

Nameless, Faceless—Courtney Barnett

There’s a possibility I included this because “Pedestrian at Best” was one of my favorites of the year from her debut a few years ago. This track is fine if not as unique as that one was. This is a preview from the Australian artist’s third album “Tell Me How You really Feel” do out in May.

Wait By the River—Lord Huron

There’s a slow, soulful groove on this that appealed to me. It’s possible I want this to be greater than it is. It’s not a bad track, just a little rough around the edges. I’m waiting to hear what else they can do.

Glimpse of Love—Franz Ferdinand

Ah Franz, guitar dance band that you are, you’re brand of music is as reliable as ever this time around, but some of your lyrics are so inane on “Always Ascending” that they make me cringe. “You’re not that thing that you’re doing”? Maybe if it was fleshed out a bit more, but as is it kind of sounds like a meme. Of course I could probably make this complaint about a lot of bands, but vocals are so often mixed down against the band it’s not always as obvious as on this album. However, on “Glimpse of Love” I finally found a song I can listen to.

This is That—David Byrne

I was so sure the upcoming “American Utopia” was going to sound like a Talking Heads album based on “Everybody’s Coming to My House” and then this dirge came along to confound my expectations. Imagine a Talking Heads album confounding one’s expectations. Oh, wait, hang on a minute…

What do I make of it? I suspect it’s a grower so I will let it do just that.

In the Air—the DMA’s

Have I told You Enough—Moose Blood

Act Naturally—Happy Accidents

Icarus—Dan Owen

Flora My Fawna—DaVido

Calabassas, California, 91302—Albert Hammond

Come On In My Kitchen—Johnny Winter

The Johnny Winter Compilations keep on coming, and why not? Here’s an extended blues number with plenty of slide guitar to play us out for about ten minutes from the album “Remembrance 2” out now.




Without meaning to, I seem to have done a fair bit of globe trotting with this weeks list, and a couple of things don’t strictly adhere to the new music policy (2018 only), but I’m guessing they’ll be new to you at least.

(Spotify Link Below)

It’s all Good—Superorganism

Superorganism is a relatively new band with members from Japan, New Zealand and the U.S., most of them currently live together in a house in London’s East End. Before the move they mostly maintained collaboration through Skype. A good example of how geography doesn’t need to be a barrier. The song itself is an interesting mix of spoken word and melodic pop, with some serious processing going on, but it all works to give this mid-tempo track a feel-good factor you can’t ignore.

Black Flamingo—The Wombats

Another track from Indie band the Wombats latest album “Beautiful People will ruin Your Life”, which seems to be getting some traction at least on Spotify.

Friday Fighting—Sam Fender

Boys will be boys, and sometimes they will rock about it, as does this Tyneside teenager who has been out busking since he was 13. He seems to be getting some notice now. we’ll have to see how it goes.

Wild Silence—The Wandering Hearts

The Wandering Hearts are referred to as a country-Folk-Pop quartet from London, compared to The Shires and The Staves, and include in their list of influences Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty and Simon & Garfunkel. So it’s melodic and easy on the ear.

Volcanic Love—The Aces

Another fine, upbeat single from a band that falls somewhere between Indie and Pop. Where’s the album?

Let Down—Flor de Toloache

Flor de Toloache are an all female Mariachi band from New York, but I would think this particular track has a broader appeal than the band description might suggest. Definitely in the genre but not cliched.

Solitary Daughter—Bedouine

And now we have Syrian-born Azniv Korkejian A.K.A. Bedouine with a mostly acoustic song from her first album, although she sounds much more experience than that would imply. Dark and somber sounding with an air of self confidence, she sings about her sense of self sufficiency and her preference for her own company.

Wriggle (Edit)—Cosmo sheldrake

Cosmo is turning out quirky pop music that will probably never get to the radio but is well worth a listen. I’ll put the kettle on, we’ll play some melotron.

Boca do Céu—Ava Roche

Post Tropicalia is a genre now? Anyway, Rio native Ava Roche gives us a mood swing of a track that ranges from Latin-acoustic to over-driven rock over the course fo five minutes or so.

Killing for Love (with The Brite Lites—José González

I didn’t intentionally set out to make this list such a global pot pouri, but now we have a Swedish-Argentinian singer songwriter psych major sounding very comfortable singing in English. At 31 he seems to have been very busy over the last decade or so in a variety of countries. This track is from an EP in collaboration with The Brite Lites recorded at Svenska Grammofonstudion.

Body of Mine—Liz Brasher

Another relatively new singer from North Carolina, Liz Brasher gives us a smoldering blues-rock song that shows off the power of her husky voice.


Now we have a couple of guys from France playing old-school soul with a social consciousness, imploring us to be good neighbors. But it does sound pretty good. the band’s been around a couple of years, but the members have been at it for a decade here and there.


After all this globe-trotting comes something more familiar and commercial sounding in a pop/rock vein from English quartet Peace, named for a photograph celebrating the end of WWII. From the album “Kindness is the New rock and Roll” due out in May.

Night and Day—Keir

Not the Cole Porter standard, but a mid-tempo, heavy, sounding (in a good way) Pop-rock track by a relative newcomer, although he already managed to get a slot in Glastonbury last year, apparently. He list’s Bowie and Prince as influences. I’m not sure this track ticks those boxes, but it’s not bad.

Getting Along—The Magic Gang

Another set of relative newcomers, these guys write songs and live together in somewhere on the coast of Brighton. Sounds ideal. I assume this upbeat and slightly off-kilter pop-rock track will be on the debut album due out mid March.


Over to the West Coast of America, Oregon in fact, for an 11-piece Indie band with a wide scope of instrumentation. there’s something about this lengthy track that initially reminds me of Radiohead’s “No Surprises” before taking off in its own direction, although it might remind you of Arcade Fire before it’s over. From the new album “Offerings”.

The Man—Goat Girl

Goat girl is an all-female London quartet due to release its debut album in April. Though the band and album are reputed to be socio-political, this one seems to be an off kilter love song of sorts.

2 Cool 2 Care—Anna Burch

Ann Burch could have sounded 2 cool to put on the list if the chorus hook hadn’t kept earwigging me. Quirky beach pop with a deceptively amateurish sound. From her debut solo album “Quit the Curse”.

Scandilove—Ida Maria

Straight up Pop this time, sort of. Norwegian singer Ida Maria has been going for about a decade now, and this is her new single, all about analogies for the various ways one might instigate love making in Scandinavia. Quite playful really, but with the “I’m Scandinavian y’all” line I might not have believed she was a native if I hadn’t seen it for myself. NSFW.


Can you believe these guys have been going for 25 years now. Northern Irish Alt-rock band Ash are back again to overdrive our ears with a single form “Islands” due out in May. The title pretty much sums it up, not about the song, but what the song’s about. Or maybe who. NSFW.

Fireworks—Irreversible entanglements

Here’s a revival no one was expecting—radical beat poetry of black trauma, struggle and power over free jazz, which is which is basically how this collective labels themselves. I left this til the end because I knew a lot of you would be heading for the exits after a minute or two, but I like it.

Here’s the cream that, to these jaded ears, floated to the top of the song bucket over the last week.

(Spotify Link Below)

Light Me on Fire—SPELLES

SPELLES is a hard woman (or band, maybe) to find much info on, which might make her intentionally enigmatic. It also means the focus is on the music. What I can tell you is that this hunk of smokey soul with a ’60s feel was picked up for use on the new “Grey’s Anatomy” spin-off. Not bad for someone who is on their first EP.

The Louder I Call, the Faster It runs—Wye Oak

The harmonized verse vocals are haunting and distinctive, and make this song compelling listening. this two-piece Indie Band from Baltimore has been around for over ten years with a good few albums behind them. This track seems a cut above the ones I’ve heard before.


Chances are this Scottish synth-pop band have another hit with this track from the upcoming album “Love is Dead, their first release in a couple of years.

Bringing the House Down—CLOVES

CLOVES is an Australian singer with an EP and a few singles scattered over the last three years. This powerful track will have you wanting an album.

I’m Waiting for the Man—Beck

From the Spotify series “Music Happens Here”, Beck gives us a smooth, polished version of Lou Reed’s Velvet Underground classic.

Drink About You—Kate Nash

Kate Nash returns to give out stink to a former boyfriend who left such an impression that even when subsequent relationships fail, she only drinks about him… At an upbeat 90 miles an hour with a solid pop hook on the chorus.

1933—Frank turner

Thee’s something a bit, upbeat Billy Bragg about political Englishman Frank Turner’s latest track, so it’s rock with decent lyrics. Presumably from the Album “Be More Kind” due out later this year.

Teacher—Sean OB

AKA Sean O’Brien from Dublin, he’s been described as “Buddy Holly meets Jaimie T. I might have said Buddy Holly meets the Clash with an acoustic guitar, but I’m old.

Fall—Sasha Sloan

Sasha Sloan is ready to fall in love again. More than that is hard to say. She’s got a few singles out starting from last year, but I can’t find a lot of info. This song fits the “sad girl” motif she seems to have a dopted.

Carry Me Home (acoustic)—the Sweeplings

Hauntingly beautiful stripped-down acoutsic version of the opening track from last year’s “Rise & Fall” album from this Alabama duo into their fourth year together.

Gaybe—Sam Vance-Law

“Modern Family” fans know that Cameron is the singer. However, this song is more nerdy than dramatic, so one can imagine Mitchell singing it, but only if no one is listening. Cam would have come up with the title though.

Obviously Sam Vance-Law is neither one of these people.

Montana—Justin Timberlake

I seem to have found a Justin Timberlake song I kind of like. Get over it. It’s smooth and grooves, and gives his voice a chance to do more than make rude innuendos.

Mother—Kiesza, chris Malinchak

Canadian artist Kiesza collaborates with Chris Malinchak to give us this track with a reggae feel. In fact, you will probably be thinking of Bob Marley before the vocals even start. Once you get over the initial disappointment, you might like it.

Someone Out There—Rae Morris

A nice little ballad for all the lonely people from the album of the same name, which was released earlier this month.

Saturday Sun—Vance Joy

A simple, upbeat little ditty from the Australian singer songwriter. From the new album “Nation of One”, which is out but not yet available on Spotify.

Fools—Madison Beer

A straightforward pop-song with a decent chorus hook from a young woman who has been hanging around since 2012, but had a career spike since the Bieb shared one of her Youtube videos. this is from her debut album “As She Pleases”, out now

Bad Fun—courtship.

Another synth-pop single (no album yet) from two lads Micah Gordon and Eli Hirsch.

To Be Brave—Bryde

Welsh singer-songwriter and trance vocalist Sarah Howells, AKA Bryde, has been busy over the ten years she’s been on the scene with seven albums and more than twice as many collaborations. This is her latest single

Bad Boy—Red Velvet

Red Velvet are a South Korean girl group, and this is a finely produced bit of pop confection.

Azukita—Steve aoiki, Daddy Yankee

I don’t usually go for dance tracks, but once you get over the intro thee’s something likable about this Latin-flavored number.



A day late and filtered through a head cold, but here’s this weeks list

(Spotify link below)

Don’t Make Me Wait—Sting, Shaggy

Not just a one-off, this is the first track of a collaborative Jamaican-flavored album coming in April. It’s not bad.

Live in the Moment—Craig David, GoldLink

This song has been trying to make the list for a few weeks, I like the title, it feels pretty good, and the lyrics are fine so, what the heck.

Typical—Nightmares on Wax

Despite the scary artist name this is essentially a bluesy number in a style from somewhere in the middle of the last century. so it’s pretty cool. The name represents one George Evelyn, a DJ and electronic music producer, not that you would guess that from this track.

Joyful—X ambassadors

A nice bit of understated gospel from this New York rock band. An album with the same name will be out sometime later in the year

So Long (I Do)—LANCO

What we used to call country ROCK is now Country, and here’s a good example. From the album “Hallejuah Nights”, which is out now.

Wrapped Cat—The Vibrators

When I heard this I wish I held off for a week including these guys on the list, because this song makes the previous song pale by comparison. It’s a punkabilly track about an Egyptian cat (hence the wrapping) who apparently hung with King Tut and Cleopatra. An unusually long lifespan for a cat, I think you would agree, considering that those two lived about 1,300 years apart.

Spook—Black rebel Motorcycle Club

Another great track from Wrong Creatures, which I think may be my favorite album by these guys so far.

We Don’t Care—BØrns

Some upbeat,  nearly 60’s sounding pop with a bit of sitar thrown in for flavor. From the album “Blue Madonna”.

The Rush—Tremors

Appropriately enough, the singer sounds a bit like Geddy Lee (from Rush) although the feel is decidedly 80’s synth pop. Would have been on the radio back then anyway.

Echoes in the Wind—the Lost Brothers

I nearly didn’t include this, but it’s so different from anything else this week I ultimately had to. It’s nealy-whispered, simple arrangement of a melodic song with two guys harmonizing, kind of like the Everly Brothers used to make without sounding like them.

If the Car Besides You Moves Ahead—James Blake

Kids, I want to talk to you today about the serious subject of effect abuse. I know how it is, you get a new pedal, or in this case vocal effect, you use it here and there, and it feels good. After a while you need to use it more and more to get the same feeling from it until you wind up with something like this with a nearly unintelligible lyric line on a singer/songwriter type of song. Still , it has a strange beauty. Hear for yourself.

Fake Nice—The Aces

The Aces are an all female pop-band that sound a cut above the usual  “too much sugar” variety we so often hear. they are only at the EP stage now, so we’ll see how this progresses.

Joanne (Where Do You think You’re Going)—Lady Gaga

A rather plaintive, downbeat piano track that is atypical of what we usually hear from her. Worth a listen.

Run with the Rhythm—Marmozets

While I don’t find this to be as head-bangingly awsome as last years “Play”, it’s still a good rocker.

Rebel Heart—First Aid Kit

The lead track from “Ruins”, which is one of my two or three favorite albums of the year so far. I know, it’s only February.

To Chicago—Ciaran Lavery

Ciaran will love you ’til the parking meter runs out, and say a few other clever things on this decent track in the singer/songwriter vein.

Back of Your car—Swimming Girls

Kind of an 80’s indie pop-rock thing here. There seems to be only one girl swimming in this four-piece, and she once auditioned for a Louis Walsh band, but we won’t hold that against her. You have to like a band that lists Cyndi Lauper, the Cure, and David Lynch among their influences. Sounds like they mean it too.


Ok, it’s a bit of mindless pop-rock, but it’s got good energy and it feels good.  Could be a hit.

Remember Me (Duo)—Miguel, Natalia Lafourcade

From the Pixar flm “Coco” some Spanish-flavored pop about saying goodbye that is suitable for all ages. I haven’t seen it, but it sounds like the big closing credits song alright.