Joanna Newsom – Sprout And The Bean (2004)

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Joanna Newsom

To appreciate Joanna Newsom, you have to like (or become accustomed to) the quirky voice. On ‘Sprout And The Bean’, her accompanying harp-playing makes that a much easier thing to do. The song was released as a single from her album The Milk-Eyed Mender.

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Boards Of Canada – Roygbiv (1998)

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Boards Of Canada 1998

A year after Radiohead’s OK Computer, Scottish duo Mike Sandison and Marcus Eoin released their masterful Music Has The Right To Children. The world had changed. Track 10 was Boards Of Canada’s ‘Roygbiv’; just feel the intelligence.

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Radiohead – Let Down (1997)

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Radiohead too

This time last week, I was amazed at having not posted a particular song – and so here I go again. Last month, at a gig in Madison Square Garden, NYC, Radiohead played ‘Let Down’ for the first time in a decade. Is it the best track off the best album ever produced? Arguably, yes. What cannot be disputed is that for one glorious moment, they were everybody’s benchmark.

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Belle & Sebastian – Olympic Village, 6AM (2016)

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Belle & Sebastian 2016

The Rio Olympics are no more. To mark their love of the event, Belle & Sebastian released ‘Olympic Village, 6AM’ a couple of weeks back. The instrumental is celebratory in its simplicity, like the start of a Divine Comedy number. No Neil Hannon, but a video to provide nostalgia on tap. Trumpets are a nice touch too. Have a great week.

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Raze – Break 4 Love (1988)

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Vaughan Mason

And now for some classic dance moves. Raze’s Vaughan Mason took The Castle Beat’s ‘Today, Tomorrow and Forever’ and turned it into one of the dance floor tunes during house music’s early heyday. ‘Break 4 Love’ my friends. Have a great weekend.

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Connie Constance – Lose My Mind (2016)

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Connie Constance

Soul is alive in the UK. Surely Connie Constance has a successful future in the genre. 20 years old and armed with a voice of a poet. Please give us more. ‘Lose My Mind’ was released as a single last month.

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Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Into My Arms (1997)

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Nick Cave

Tapping into the hurt of broken relationships, Nick Cave was able to create a sound so sad, I am almost happy to hear it. ‘Into My Arms’ was released as a single off The Bad Seeds’ 1997 album The Boatman’s Call. In the same year, Cave performed the song at the funeral of his friend Michael Hutchence.

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The Flaming Lips – Race For The Prize (1999)

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Wayne Coyne

Have I really waited 5 years to post this song? The revolutionary sound of The Soft Bulletin. This was The Flaming Lips in 1999 and the glory of their ‘Race For The Prize’. “They’re just humans/With wives and children!”

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The Killers – Glamorous Indie Rock & Roll (2004)

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The Killers 2004

Fast start to the week. The Killers’ ‘Glamorous Indie Rock & Roll’ off their 2004 album Hot Fuss. Enjoy. Have  a great week.

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The Coasters – Love Potion Number Nine (1971)

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The Coasters

Now for the sound of some old school soul. In 1971, the Coasters had a minor hit with Leiber and Stoller’s ‘Love Potion No. 9’, a song about an aphrodisiac bought from a gypsy with a gold-capped tooth. The cheeky lyrics must have caused a bit of a stir back in 1959 when the song originally penned. Have a great weekend and don’t kiss everything you see.

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Rilo Kiley – Portions for Foxes (2004)

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Rilo Kiley

I registered Rilo Kiley when they released ‘Portions For Foxes’ off their album More Adventurous. It was 2004, but it has the familiarity of early 1990s guitar indie and 1980s power pop. Jenny Lewis is “bad news” and yeah, “we’ll all be portions for foxes”.

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Broken Social Scene – Stars and Sons (2003)

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Broken Social Scene 2003

Now for one my favourite tracks from Broken Social Scene’s You Forgot It In People.  With its handclaps and driving rhythm, ‘Stars and Sons’ was the band’s first single and a perfect introduction to the collective. As together as you are, someone’s got to sing lead. Brendan Canning steps forward and whispers in the self-respecting dissonance.

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Silk Rhodes – Pains (2014)

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Silk Rhodes

Silk Rhodes is is the soulful combination of producer Michael Collins and vocalist Sasha Desree. There’s more than a flavour of Sly and The Family Stone, Prince and D’Angelo at their most minimal, which makes the Baltimore band’s sound vs. face value even more unexpected. Le nouveau Hall & Oates, peut-être?

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Jorge Ben – Mas Que Nada (1963)

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Jorge Ben Jor 1963

Rio 2016 is here; and I’ve been smitten by Brazilian music ever since I visited their lands 5 years ago. Jorge Duilio Lima Menezes is no newcomer to this blog. For me, it all started with him. For Jorge (Ben), it all started in 1963 with the release of the Samba Esquema Novo. And for listeners to that album, it all starts with the opener ‘Mas Que Nada’ (“But that’s nothing”). The song would help define a certain maracatu samba sound and would end up becoming a signature tune for Sergio Mendes, no less. But all the covers missed the lush arrangements of saxophonist J. T. Meirelles and Ben’s own virtuoso performance on guitar. Have a great week.

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