Tag Archives: 2016

Monster Truck – Don’t Tell Me How To Live (2016)

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I saw Monster Truck in Camden Town last night. Marshall stacks, Gibson guitars and the howling lead vocals of bassist Jon Harvey… this is Old school hard blues rock and it’s music to make you smile. ‘Don’t Tell Me How To Live’ features on their 2016 album Sittin’ Heavy.

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The Weeknd feat. Daft Punk – I Feel It Coming (2016)

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And now for a current slice of pop for this Thursday morning. When the Abel Tesfaye (aka Weeknd) and Daft Punk’s Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter got together in the studio, the result was ‘Starboy’ and ‘I Feel It Coming’. I select the latter for its synth-laden, disco love groove. It sounds like the collaboration that Michael Jackson and Daft Punk never did. And as for the new Star Wars-influenced video… glorious. Both tracks featured on last year’s long player Starboy.

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Matt Maltese – Studio 6 (2016)

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South London-based Matt Maltese would seem to take his cues from a broad range of influences from George Michael to Father John Misty. Studio 6 features on last year’s EP In a New Bed on Café Bleu Recordings. Have a great weekend.

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Foreign Fields – I (2016)

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Wisconsin-born duo Brian Holl and Eric Hillman met in 2011 and quickly began work on self-releasing their 2013  LP Anywhere But Where I Am. Their brand of electronic folk was well received and they’ve since secured a record deal with Universal. ‘I’ features on last year’s album Take Cover.  The website states: “Take Cover has a noticeable lean toward spirited rhythms which dance anachronistically beneath honest lyrical confessions of doubt and hopelessness.” Ah, the inhibition of self-release remains strong in these ones. Have a great week.

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Strand Of Oaks – Radio Kids (2016)

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Strand of Oaks is a project by Philly-based songwriter and producer Timothy Showalter. Previously an arbiter of folk rock, ‘Radio Kids’ sounds more like an arena-rock sing-your-guts-out anthem à la the E Street Band, or more recently, The Hold Steady. I like. Strand of Oaks’ new album Hard Love is out this week via Dead Oceans.

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Maggie Rogers – Alaska (2016)

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Maggie Rogers was given a platform by Pharrell Williams when he undertook a Masterclass at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute. He was bowlded over by the young musician’s stripped back creativity. The resulting single  ‘Alaska’ reminds me of the work of Regina Spektor and Wye Oak. I shouldn’t imagine Mr . Williams is familiar with either. No taking anything away from Ms. Rogers, mind…

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Cass McCombs – Opposite House (2016)

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I’ve noticed my start to the year is a little solemn. There’s no changing the low key today. Cass McCombs released ‘Opposite House’ as the the first single from last year’s long player Mangy Love. Angel Olsen provides backing vocals on the chorus. “Oh why/Why does it rain inside?” they sing. Have a great weekend.

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Sampha – Blood On Me (2016)

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Known for being the principal vocalist for Aaron Jerome’s SBTRKT, Sampha Sisay is flying high and solo. ‘Blood On Me’ is a contemporary slice of electro-infused soul released on West London’s Young Turks label. His voice is breathless, urgent and engaging.

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Miles Davis, Robert Glasper feat. Erykah Badu – Maiysha (So Long) (2016)

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New Year’s Day is part recovery and part celebration in my household. Enter Miles Davis. Last year, jazz pianist Robert Glasper reworked several soundbites of Miles Davis’ studio recordings for a tribute album called Everything’s Beautiful. One such recording is a remix of ‘Maiysha’ taken off a Davis performance found on the 1974 album Get Up With It. The revision features the vocals of Erykah Badu. We’re off for brunch. Happy New Year!

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9 of the best – sounds of 2016

My favourite sounds of 2016 in no particular order…

The Avalanches – Because I’m Me

Whitney – No Woman

Glass Animals – Life Itself

Car Seat Headrest – Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales

Bon Iver – 33 “GOD”

The Strokes – Threat of Joy

Okkervil River – Okkervil River R.I.P.

The Weeknd feat. Daft Punk – I Feel It Coming

Traumprinz – 2Bad

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Honourable mentions also go to: De La Soul for ‘Trainwreck‘; The Last Shadow Puppets for ‘Everything You’ve Come To Expect‘; Let’s Eat Grandma for ‘Deep Six Textbook‘; Anderson .Paak for ‘Come Down‘; Solange for ‘Cranes In The Sky‘; DJ Snake for ‘Let Me Love You’; Honne for ‘Someone That Loves You‘; and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds for ‘Rings Of Saturn‘.

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Anderson. Paak feat. ScHoolboy Q – Am I Wrong (2016)

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No better way to end 2016 than to post a key cut off one of the best albums of the year. ‘Am I Wrong’ features on Anderson. Paak’s long player Malibu, and like much of the album it’s a collaboration. In this case, it’s the turn of ScHoolboy Q to break Paak’s smooth delivery on what can only be described as a deep funk groove that should make André 3000 and Big Boi blush. Have a fantastic New Year’s Eve!

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Solange – Cranes In The Sky (2016)

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‘Cranes in the Sky’ features on Solange’s album A Seat at the Table. The track features Raphael Saadiq on bass, a downtempo R&B take on Massive Attack’s ‘Unfinished Symphony’ and a video directed by the singer and her husband Alan Ferguson. Solange Knowles is working out some issues and blossoming with it.

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Aaron Lee Tasjan – Little Movies (2016)

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Singer-songwriter Aaron Lee Tasjan is an established artist on the American indie folk circuit. This year, he used this platform to do something far more interesting to these ears. He has run his brand of Americana through a Beatles/Nilsson blender. It is difficult for me to listen ‘Little Movies’ without thinking of George Harrison. It’s real good and features on the LP Silver Tears.

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Traumprinz – 2Bad (‘What If Madness Is The Only Relief’ Rework) (2016)

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First released in 2015 as part of a mix (This Is Not) of Traumprinz’s own productions on the Weimar-based label Giegling, ‘2Bad’ made its way to selective dancefloors this year after it featured on the DJ’s EP 2 The Sky. Aka DJ Metatron and Prince of Denmark, the dream prince is certainly mysterious royalty, as any quick search on Google will reveal. This piece of music is suitably enigmatic and exceptional.

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Drake feat. Wizkid and Kyla – One Dance (2016)

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And now for the sound of summer 2016. It may not have been as game-changing for Drake as ‘Hotline Bling’, but it was as pervasive. The rhythm and message were simple and the Nineteen85/DJ Maphorisa production was perfectly executed. It was essentially cut up of a Crazy Cousinz remix of Kyla’s ‘Do You Mind?’. UK underground via Toronto via everywhere. Have a great Christmas weekend.

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