Tag Archives: 2017

Kevin Morby – City Music (2017)

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Kevin Morby’s fourth solo album City Music is an exploration of urban life. The album’s centrepiece is its title track with its repetitive vocals and intertwining guitars, before it slows back down to a late night walking pace. I think he found his downtown.

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The xx – I Dare You (2017)

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‘I Dare You’ finds The xx’s Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim exploring their feelings. Madley Croft was about to get engaged and Oliver Sim was thinking about his issues with alcohol. Unlike much of last year’s album I See You, the resulting song is positive in mood. Have a great week.

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Forest Swords – War It (2017)

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As with Burial or Floating Points, Forest Swords is the electronic magic of just one producer. Matthew Barnes is from The Wirral and taps the evocative landscape and urban sprawl to infuse his music. ‘War It’ is the opening track of last year’s album Compassion.

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Yasmine Hamdan – La Ba’den (2017)

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Last year, Beirut-born Yasmine Hamdan released her album Al Jamilat. The singer-songwriter and actress is now based in Paris, but first made her name as one half of electro-pop duo Soap Kills, a cult trip-hop group in Lebanon. Since then, she’s become a flag bearer for modern Arabic music. Al Jamilat is Arabic for The Beautiful Ones. Remarkably progressive to these western ears.

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Sufjan Stevens – Mystery of Love (2017)

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Last week, Sufjan Stevens released a new video for his song ‘Mystery of Love’, which he penned for the Luca Guadagnino film Call Me By Your Name. This is Sufjan, near his etherial best.

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9 of the best – sounds of 2017

Samuelsounds begins a short hiatus this festive season. I leave you with my favourite sounds of 2017 in no particular order. See you in the new year.

Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile – Over Everything

Dan Auerbach – King Of A One Horse Town

Dornik – God Knows

LCD Soundsystem – Call The Police

Future Islands – Ran

Father John Misty – Total Entertainment Forever

Arcade Fire – Everything Now

The National – The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness

Kamasi Washington – Truth

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Honourable mentions also go to: Real Estate for ‘Darling‘; Foxygen for ‘On Lankershim‘; Mac DeMarco for ‘This Old Dog‘; John Mayer for ‘Moving On and Getting Over‘; Big Thief for ‘Shark Smile‘; Kevin Morby for ‘Come To Me Now‘; St. Vincent for ‘New York‘; Rex Orange County for ‘Edition‘; Public Service Broadcasting for ‘Progress‘; Lorde for ‘Green Light‘; and alt- J for’3WW‘.

 

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Lorde – Green Light (2017)

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Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor is better known as Lorde. The Kiwi singer exploded onto the pop music scene at the age of sixteen with the release of the single ‘Royals’. Five years later and she’s released this banger. A pop queen. Have a good week.

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Action Bronson – The Chairman’s Intent (2017)

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Ariyan Arslani, aka Action Bronson, is a rapper from Queens, New York. He’s of Albanian descent and unusual stature. Zany, amusing and King Fu… ‘The Chairman’s Intent’ is just splendid sir. “I started clapping when the chef brought the duck to the table/That shit was shining like an angel/I never trust a dude named Angel.” Have a great weekend.
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Father John Misty – Total Entertainment Forever (2017)

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I saw Josh Tillman last week at one of his sold-out nights at Hammersmith Apollo. In some ways, his recordings don’t really do his voice justice. ‘Total Entertainment Forever’ is the the fourth single off the Father John Misty album Pure Comedy. The breezy Beatles-like sound and eccentric video both live up to one of the all-time opening, rhyming couplets: “Bedding Taylor Swift/Every night inside the Oculus Rift”. Have a great week.

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Honey Dijon – 808 State Of Mind (2017)

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Unlike me, Honey Dijon was a witness to the birth of Chicago house. (Location rather than age.) And so, ‘808 State of Mind’ is a nostalgic journey into early house music. ‘Pacific State’ is the obvious musical reference, but this tribute travels through the ballrooms of New York to the beaches of Ibiza via the warehouses of Chicago.

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Phum Viphurit – Long Gone (2017)

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Phum Viphurit is Thai-born, Kiwi-raised and is now living in Bangkok as a solo artist with an acoustic guitar. The combination is infectious…part MacDeMarco, part Haircut 100. He released ‘Long Gone’ as a single back in the summer.

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Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – French Press (2017) 

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One of Melbourne current standout bands, Rolling Blackout Coastal Fever grabbed enough people’s attention this year on the strength of their first single ‘French Press’. The band was formed by singer-guitarists Fran Keaney, Tom Russo and Joe White, and all three of their instruments are at the fore on this somewhat downcast surf rock jam.

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Kamasi Washington – Truth (2017)

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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.

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John Joseph Brill – I’m Not Alright (2017)

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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’.

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Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile – Over Everything (2017)

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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.

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