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.
A couple of years ago I went to see ‘A Celebration of Talk Talk and Mark Hollis’ in London: a hastily thrown together live show following the death of Hollis earlier that year, with various singers stepping into their iconic frontman and creative driving force’s shoes. It was patchy to say the least, and the variety show-style version of It’s My Life was among the most painful things I’ve seen. One shining light however was Orlando Weeks, who not only resembles Hollis vocally, but seemed to be the only guest artist who not only knew, but genuinely felt the heartbreak of the Spirit of Eden-era output. His performance of I Believe In Your was quietly devastating, and he’s been on my radar since then. Talk Talk members: if you’re reading this (ha) a tour with Orlando is something I’d be very interested in.
Anyway, this is taken from his new album Hope Up, and it’s lovely.
After a strong run of singles over the past few month, Wildhart’s latest album His Arrows Won’t Hit Us Now arrived last week, and although I haven’t had a chance to spend a decent amount of time with it yet on the first couple of listens it’s hit me very nicely in the feels indeed. I’ve written here before about how much I love their 2016 LP Shine, and after a period of worrying silence and a line-up change, it’s brilliant to have them back in all their hushed, synthy glory. Like a lot of their music, I’ve Been Waiting goes in hard on nostalgic yearning, a patient, bubbling lead synth line joined by beautifully echoing trumpets as it moves its understated but powerful final third. I have a feeling this will fly a little under the radar, but it really shouldn’t.
The new album from Helado Negro is Sunday morning hangover vibes through and through, with both textures and slow-paced rhythms seemingly tailor-made to sooth and reassure. On opener Wake Up Tomorrow he enlists Kacy Hill for some gentle background crooning which alongside the ridiculously chilled drumming and strumming creates an atmosphere so completely, effortlessly relaxing it’s a surprise he got the rest of the album finished.
As someone who loved Low’s last album but is only vaguely familiar with their extensive back catalogue, I’ve spent the week trying to play catch up as much as possible in anticipation of their new LP HEY WHAT which arrived today in all its melancholy, distorted glory. It’s been quite a week, and while I wouldn’t necessarily recommend piling through that much Low at once (the darkness! the depths!), it’s been interesting to trace the developments of their 20+ year career in just a few sittings. As a fairly new fan, I certainly don’t have any authority in ranking these things, but also: HEY WHAT is categorically their best album, and Hey is its emotional zenith.
I love The Antler’s 2014 album Familiars a quite ridiculous amount. It’s probably in my top 5 all time, definitely top 10, so to say I was hyped for the new LP Green to Gold was somewhat of an understatement. After a few listens, I’m sure of at least one thing: the title track is one of the loveliest things they’ve ever recorded. Rolling along on hushed drums, softly twanging guitars and with Peter Silberman’s extraordinary vocal providing the backbone, it’s a lazy, sun-drenched, perfect afternoon at the beach/park/wherever distilled into song form, which, despite being more than seven minutes long, could easily hang around all fucking day and be more than welcome company.
ttypes is the solo project of Michigan-based songwriter Tim Krauss whose music ranges from ambient instrumental, to piano pop, rock, electronic pop and various other styles. His latest – as the title suggests – is an ode to Hollywood icon, (former) cocaine enthusiast and everyone’s favourite irreverent cyborg, Robert Downey Jr.. Not that you’d necessarily be able to tell from the record itself which is a frantic rush of syrupy bleeps and washed out vocals, but check out the video for one of the purest hits of RDJ you’re likely to find outside of a Marvel set.
The new single from LA noise-pop duo MUNNCAT is, according to the band, “about the growing frustration of trying to meet people in the middle who have no intention of compromising”. Now, generally speaking I am terrible at paying attention to messages in songs, but I can hear no discernible frustration in The Bygone Goodbye at all: only pure, unadulterated fun and positivity. I haven’t been this wrongfooted by a track for a while, as it’s not what I generally consider the music I gravitate towards (see: moody, nostalgic, synthy, maybe a little depressing), but I absolutely love it. So much energy, kinda reminds me a little of The Phenomenal Handclap Band, but with a lot more edge.
Girl is the latest single to be taken from Irish producer Sal Dulu’s forthcoming debut album, Xompulse, which is set for self-release via his own Duluoz Records this February. The last track I featured of his was the impeccable Alien Boy 96, and while Girl is similarly constructed of hazy, sun-bleached sample, it’s loser and more laidback, sitting somewhere between the carefree nostalgia of The Avalanches and the free-wheeling beats of J Dilla. I’m a big fan of everything he’s been putting out recently, so consider this your formal warning to jump on the hype train before the album lands next month.
Music was one of the few things that made 2020 bearable, and Gia Margaret’s album Mia Gargaret stood out amidst even the best releases of the year due to its almost paralysing beauty. Solid Gold came out today, and unsurprisingly it’s wonderful, with yearning, Americana-esque guitars lolling gently in the background accompanied by a steady, hushed pulse of percussion. With or without her voice, she’s one of the most consistently mesmerising artists out there, and we should treasure her.