Continuing the unusually fey electropop this week, it’s Auckland’s Chelsea Nikkel. On ‘The Cigarette Duet’, the Princess sings alongside fellow singer-songwriter Jonathan Bree for her debut studio album Lil’ Golden Book.
In 2011, the Paris-based Barclay Disques released an Alain Bashung album posthumously. Bashung’s rendition of the Serge Gainsbourg’s concept album L’Homme À Tête De Chou was an explicit dedication. ‘Variations Sur Marilou’ is a story of a forty-year-old man (perhaps with the head of a cabbage) who falls in love with a shampoo girl in Chez Max hairdresser for men. Full of eroticism, the song is classic Serge Gainsbourg. Bashung was due to tour his version of the project in November 2009, but passed in March of that year. Thank goodness it had already been captured on record. Have a great weekend.
Malaysian DJ Haze’s CV past collaborations include a notable roll call of house music institutions (Kings of Tomorrow, Fanciulli, MJ Cole, Defected Records and Strictly Rhythm). In 2011, he worked with Danish DJ Noir (aka Rene Kristensen) and together they produced ‘Around’. And then, they enjoyed collaboration squared when German DJ Solomun cut his own downtempo Vox mix of the single. The remix became a floor-filler.
In 2011, not only did Julia Holter draw on the work of Arthur Russell and Laurie Anderson, but also she had the composure to create something totally original. Her debut album Tragedy features ‘Goddess Eyes’ in all its vocoder-processed glory. “I can see you, but my eyes are not allowed to cry.”
Londoner Michael Kiwanuka started his musical career working as a session guitarist. It was not long before his creative ambition and vocal talent propelled him into singer-songwriting. Communion Records released his debut EP ‘Tell Me A Tale’ in the summer of 2011. To those hearing it for the first time, it was like hearing Terry Callier incarnate.
Antony Gonzalez recruited Zola Jesus’ Nika Roza Danilova for the opening track of M83’s 2011 LP Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming. Her vocals serve as the perfect start by ushering in the expectation of an immense electronic dream. She was not wrong. Oh, to be hearing ‘Intro’ for the first time again. Have a great week.
After yesterday, perhaps I/this blog needs a purge. Nowt better than some earnest folk music. I spent much of my childhood holidaying in the coastal towns of northern Northumberland. Sisters Rachel and Becky Unthank hail from those parts are able to produce a sound that conveys the desolate landscape. The title track off their 2011 album Last combines a simple piano with some bleak lyrics. “We are lost/We are lost/We are lost/On and on and on we go” – like a long and cold coastal walk. The song was written by fellow band member, and multi-instrumentalist, Adrian McNally.
In no particular order …
Honourable mentions also go to: Ghostpoetfor ‘Survive It‘; Connan Mockasin for ‘Forever Dolphin Love‘; Bombay Bicycle Club for ‘Shuffle‘; The Black Keys for ‘Run Right Back‘; Cass McCombs for ‘County Line‘; Grimes for ‘Vanessa‘ King Creosote & Jon Hopkins for ‘Bats In The Attic‘; Girls for ‘Alex‘ and Beirut for ‘Santa Fe‘.
In no particular order …
Honourable mentions also go to: Ghostpoet for ‘Survive It‘; Connan Mockasin for ‘Forever Dolphin Love‘; Bombay Bicycle Club for ‘Shuffle‘; The Black Keys for ‘Run Right Back‘; Cass McCombs for ‘County Line‘; Shabazz Palaces for ‘Are You… Can You… Were You? (Felt)‘; Grimes for ‘Vanessa‘; King Creosote & Jon Hopkins for ‘Bats In The Attic‘; Girls for ‘Alex‘ and Beirut for ‘Santa Fe‘.
I saw The War On Drugs at the Brixton Academy this week. Oh my. ‘Red Eyes’, ‘Under The Pressure’, ‘An Ocean In Between The Waves’, ‘Eyes To The Wind’ – the set was unfathomably stellar. Frontman Adam Granduciel does a great job of tapping Mellencamp, Petty, Knopfler… They also played ‘Baby Missiles’ off their 2011 album Slave Ambient – you can add Springsteen to that list.