This song is almost 14 minutes long, but who’s counting.’Truth’ is everywhere. This uplifting piece of art features on Kamasi Washington’s sophomore solo recording Harmony Of Difference. He makes jazz cool again. Have a great weekend.
Keeping to the contemporary theme this week… there is more than a slight resemblance of Matt Berninger’s baritone and his dystopian outlook in today’s sound. But this is not The National; instead I present Londoner John Joseph Brill’s recent single ‘I’m Not Alright’.
Full of humour and good chemistry, this year’s standout release from Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile was ‘Over Everything’. As the first single from the duo’s album, Lotta Sea Lice, the song is an effortlessly blissful introduction into their own brand of space folk.
Earlier this year, Public Service Broadcasting released the single ‘Progress’ featuring Camera Obscura’s Tracyanne Campbell on vocals. Her message is a simple one, underlining the band’s aim to incorporate industry into their art. PSB is the brainchild of banjo-playing J. Willgoose, who came together with his drumming companion Wrigglesworth and one of those ubiquitous flugelhorn/vibraslap artists JFAbraham. The result is nostalgically futuristic. Have a great week.
Alicia Keys gets one mention on my blog and the next thing you see is her feature on a sacred Friday. But the single ‘If I Ain’t Got You’ is worth it, in all its Stevie Wonder-like glory. The track featured on her modestly titled album The Diary Of Alicia Keys. This was R&B with some Alicia neo-soul.
The young Australian star Jordon Alexander (also known as Mall Grab) nailed the sampling of Alicia Keys (‘Feeling U, Feeling Me Interlude’) on 2016’s deep house track ‘Can’t’. Released on South London’s Church records, the single had impact. Mall Grab’s release was the number one selling house and techno record amongst the discerning customers of Discogs in 2016.
Donald Fagen, Walter Becker and friends have never really rung my bell. Like a number of bands from before my time, it has been the musical references of others that have gifted some insight. ‘Peg’ had been sampled by De La Soul on 3 Feet High And Rising. More recently, ‘Kid Charlemagne’ was sampled by Kanye on Graduation. But still, their penchant for jazz rock and disdain for rock gods like Led Zeppelin were never going to endear me. But I’ll give Steely Dan this one, the intro on ‘Do It Again’ is something to behold. It featured on 1972 album Can’t Buy A Thrill. R.I.P. Walter Becker.
With its touches of John Barry, Steely Dan and Tame Impala, ‘King Of A One Horse Town’ cannot be accused of pigeonholing the Black Key. It’s a single off his new album Waiting On A Song. Dan Auerbach has told fans that “The King … is anyone who’s scared of the outside world. Anyone who’s afraid to go beyond their own block for fear of failure. It could be a drug dealer. A drunk. A professor. That’s a feeling any of us can relate to.”
A compilation for the weekend. My favourite songs of 1999 in no particular order:
A simple start, a high pitch and a break out equals a strong lead single. ‘The Funeral’ is the fourth track on Band Of Horses’ 2006 album Everything All The Time. My Morning Jacket, Neil Young… the musical references are hardly hidden, but the sound is sweet. Ben Bridwell’s soaring vocals leave listeners with a definite impression.
Released in February 2000, the ‘The 6th Sense’ was the lead single off Like Water for Chocolate, Common’s hugely successful, fourth studio album. It was produced by DJ Premier and laden with his trademark scratched samples. In this case, it’s ‘Memories Are Here to Stay’ by The Intruders, ‘Allustrious’ by Mobb Deep and ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’ by Gil-Scott Heron.