Announced today, the forthcoming Let the Moon Be a Planet is the first volume of Reflections, a series of contemporary collaborations between guitarist and songwriter Steve Gunn and pianist and composer David Moore of Bing & Ruth. Over The Dune is the first single, and guess what? It’s lush.
I’ve never paid any attention to Yo La Tengo releases before, but I really like this new single, so perhaps that has been a mistake. Something about the name maybe? Can it be that I think they make music to which you can tango, so dismissed them? Possibly. They’ve only released about 300 albums anyway, so sure it won’t take long to delve through their catalogue. Anyway, Aselestine reminds me of the recent Weyes Blood album, and it’s really nice and relaxing.
Here’s something else from last year I missed, taken from Holodec’s LP All Dogs Come From Wolves that landed in November. Just U is part garage, part post-dubstep, and all woman, baby! Boomkat described the album as “a definitive statement by a quietly gifted artist who operates inside the long shadow of late ‘90s US R&B”, and they’re way better at writing about music than me, so let’s go with that.
Recently longlisted for the BBC’s Sound of 2023 – which seems a bit late to the party, given she’s been putting out, often very well-received music for at least half a decade now – Biig Piig’s Bubblegum came out last week, and it’s great, although I’m not entirely sure why it’s a mixtape, rather than an EP. People cleverer than me will know, but like I said: it’s great, and Only One is a low-key vibe.
Sunshine vibes from the Swedish retro-pop group, taken from their new album Oas which is landing in February. I’m hungover and have nothing more to say about this. Happy Friday!
Kelela’s mixtape CUT 4 Me, debut LP Take Me Apart, and especially her 2015 EP Hallucinogen remain high watermarks in alternative r&b, so it was great to see her putting out new music last year after a few years off-radar: a break that was long enough to instigate a Where is Kelela? Reddit. Her new album Raven is scheduled to land 10 February, and has been proceeded by a run of singles, the latest of which is Contact. And while so far I’m not convinced the production is quite as interesting as it has been in the past, her voice still sounds incredible, so hopes are high.
Kota The Friend’s Lyrics to GO started life as a visual project that Kota released as episodes via YouTube, due to Kota’s lack of funds for shooting music videos alongside a desire to increase social media visibility as an independent artist. I’m not sure whether this is still the case – the latest drop Vol.4 doesn’t seem to have any accompanying music videos as yet – but the tracks keep coming; rarely clocking in over two minutes, yet always as fresh and engaging as you’d expect.
I realise this is in danger of turning into an exclusively ambient blog, but it’s January, and I’m convinced no-one really wants to listen to music with a discernible bpm, much less a beat, hook or chorus, so I’m sticking with it for now. Today’s dose of glassy ambience comes courtesy of The Album Leaf’s new single Breathe. Recorded in memory of close friends and family the artist has lost in recent years, the track reflects on the thoughts that may arise in those final, fleeting moments.
John Hayes and Maxy Dutcher unveil their new collaborative project Twinsleep with their meditative, atmospheric debut single Kin, with many of the tones on the song were crafted by sampling Dutcher’s vocal fed through a Yamaha VSS30 synthesizer. Deeply calming in the extreme; looking forward to the LP.
Crackled radio-like transmissions from Norway’s rural hinterland. Juni Habel’s new album Carvings is “[an] ode to life and death, the beauty of belonging and human kinship with nature.” I Went Out And Sought For Your Name evokes Seven Swans-era, Sufjan – specifically We Won’t Need Legs To Stand – in both its gently picked melodies and subdued, gloriously sorrowful tone.