Canto Ostinato is the new volume of classical minimalism from musician and producer Erik Hall. Written for four pianos in 1979 by Dutch composer Simeon ten Holt, the piece is freshly framed as an intimate, hour-long solo performance consisting of multitracked grand pianos, electric piano, and organ, with Sections 17-30 out now ahead of the full album. For fans of Steve Reich, Philip Glass and meditative modern classical in general.
While producing his new album Meeting with a Judas Tree, Duval Timothy made a point of being in nature as much as possible, immersing himself in various habitats from South London and the hills surrounding Bath to scrubland in Ghana and the woods of Sierra Leone, taking recordings of birds, insects, monkeys, bats, plants, trees, stones on his phone, many of which made it into the final version. The result is a deeply immersive, meditative album which flits between electronic experimentation, jazz and modern classical, culminating with the sparse beauty of Drift.
I’m not sure what the weather’s doing wherever you happen to be reading this from, but here in the south west of England it is bleak. Cold, windy, raining, depressing; so thank fuck for John Mood’s new album The Great Design and its soft warmth and positive vibes to lift all our spirits. Moods stays true to his MO of soft rock, synthpop, 80s stylings throughout, with the thoughtful, melancholic Awfully Close is a particularly evocative instrumental delight.
Released today, Weyes Blood’s new album And In the Darkness. Hearts Aglow is the second in a planned trilogy of album’s that began with the release of 2019’s Titanic Rising, and explores themes of trying to find meaning and hope “in a time of instability and irrevocable change.” Like much of the album, Grapevine wears its emotions firmly and proudly on its sleeve, with soaring melodies and Mering’s rich, powerful vocal leading us, patiently, hopefully towards a better place.
There’s something immediately, hauntingly arresting about the scratchy, low-fi guitar strumming on this that I was sold even before Wright’s broken, beautiful vocal comes in. Then the beat drops, the melody surges, and I’m melting.
I don’t often just copy in release hype for posts, but this is an important one, and gives you an indication of the tone of the album better than I ever could, so here you go…
“Blue Scar Vol I , is the first installation of a long form album. This tapestry of songs is a personal mythology of love and survival, I have been patiently writing and working on this since 2013, the year I almost died because of intimate partner violence.
“This body of work brought me back to my body, and continues to do so everyday, my prayer is that it does the same for all trauma survivors, that this music is a place we can tend to our personal and generational wounds as well as a place to honour our scars. This is for youngest selves , for my child self and my god self, who always seek to protect and heal me – this is a quest to relearn what love is.”
Lugubrious, meandering alt-pop-meets-folk-meets-americana from the Australian artist who released her new album of the same name via her own Kallista Records imprint last week.
Daniel Avery has assembled an impressive raft of caollborators on his new album Ultra Truth, with production from Ghost Culture and Manni Dee, vocals courtesy of HAAi, Jonnine Standish (HTRK), AK Paul and the “voices” (not sure why that’s different from ‘vocals’, but apparently it is) of Marie Davidson, Kelly Lee Owens, Sherelle and James Massiah. It’s a more contemplative record that he’s produced before – way more afterparty mong than peak time rave up – and is probably the release of his I’ve enjoyed the most, which tells you everything you need to know about my current levels of rave-readiness. Spider is 90s-evoking ambient techno with all the OTT heartfeltness that entails, and I love it.
I was a latecomer to Low: I only really started paying attention around the release of Double Negative, but I would now consider myself a huge fan, not just of their music, but of Alan and Mimi themselves. From afar they seemed like decent, loving, compassionate people, and from what I’ve read from those who knew them well, this was all true. Their music is extraordinary, like nothing else out there, and I was so sad to learn of Mimi’s death yesterday.
This is one of my favourite songs of theirs, and exemplifies everything I love about Low. Crunchy, bleak and foreboding but also – possibly – quietly hopeful, and one on which Mimi’s vocal takes centre stage and is pushed to its emotional limits. Together, they have delivered some utterly timeless, genuinely phenomenal music that will never be forgotten, and she will be greatly missed by many.
There is a frankly obscene amount of music I’m interested in out today including albums from Okay Kaya, µ-Ziq, MorMor, Daniel Avery and plenty more, so here’s a very quick post about one of the best tracks I’ve heard today so I can get on with listening to everything else.