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An Alternative History of "Pop" Music: Part 3, 2004 -

Started by jamiefairlie, October 25, 2021, 04:39:14 AM

Previous topic - Next topic
The Jayhawks - Lovers of the Sun

Lovely bit of jangly pop from the US indie veterans' 2016 album Paging Mr Proust, with just a hint of pensiveness undercutting the summery vibes.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

Charles Bradley - Changes

Sexegenarian soul man sings Sabbath.

QuoteCharles Bradley was an American singer. After years of obscurity and a part-time music career, Bradley came to prominence in his early fifties. His performances and recording style were consistent with the revivalist approach of his main label Daptone Records, celebrating the feel of funk and soul music from the 1960s and 1970s. One review said he "echoes the evocative delivery of Otis Redding". Bradley passed away in 2017.

Weyes Blood - Used to Be

Natalie Mering, aka Weyes Blood, has already appeared here once in 2016 on a collaboration with Drugdealer, but I couldn't resist posting the mellifluous 'Used to Be', from Front Row Seat to Earth.


Whistle In The Dark - Madness. Released on Lucky Seven in 2016.

The Nutty Boys are back in town. Taken from their last album, this is the closer. A shit-eating grinning shanty that isn't a million miles away from mid-period Tom Waits. It divides the fans. Can't Touch Us Now marked the return of founder member Mark Bedford (Bedders) but the departure of Cathal Smyth (Chas Smash).


Kristin Hersh - Hemmingway's Tell

From "Wyatt at the Coyote Hotel"

"It arguably represents some of the sharpest, strongest songwriting of Hersh's post-Throwing Muses solo career and perhaps some of her best work, period"


Cat's Eyes - Everything Moves Towards the Sun

My favourite song of the year

From "Treasure House"

"Here everything seems whole and fully realised, the sound of a fleshed out band sure in its own identity rather than the end result of a prolonged mixtape crush"


Lily & Madeleine - For The Weak

From "Keep It Together"

"Each track contains a melodic or harmonic flourish, a synth layer, a moment of unexpected aggression or vulnerability which shows that, at the same time as delivering a potentially career-defining album, there is the exciting potential of so much further that Lily and Madeleine could go."

Kikagaku Moyo- Green Sugar

From House in the Tall Grass, probably still their best album.

Butchers Blind

Earwig (Ft Lydia Loveless) - Wasted On You

"t's a strummy power-pop tune about love falling apart, with McGee and Loveless singing in character as two halves of a broken relationship. McGee has been writing extremely catchy songs for decades, and his expertise really shines through here. It also helps that Loveless has one of those powerhouse voices that elevates everything she touches."

Norton Canes

Sometimes you need a whole string of convoluted analogies and imagery to describe the qualities of a track. And sometimes you just have to say 'Welsh language folk meets Massive Attack'

9Bach - Anian

From their 2016 album of the same name

Norton Canes

Music for inventing dances to

"Why deny? Why, why deny?"

Thao & The Get Down Stay Down - Meticulous Bird

From Thao Nguyen's 2016 album A Man Alive

Norton Canes

The Knife's annoying teenage nieces got their hands on some keyboards for the afternoon

Prince Rama - Bahia

From their 2016 album Xtreme Now

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

The Memory Band - Children of the Stones

The folk horror-haunted brainchild of Trunk Records co-founder Stephen Cracknell, The Memory Band are a floating collective of musicians. This psych-tinged mantra, which takes its title from the notoriously unsettling '70s children's TV drama, can be found on their fifth album, A Fair Field.

M83 ft. Mai Lan - Go!

We've had M83 here before. 2016's Junk album featured various guests, including French-Vietnamese singer Mai Lan, who features on this track, along with a solo from guitarist Steve Vai. It fits firmly in the seemingly endless revival of 80s sounds that have characterised much 21st century pop, but with a certain panache that most can't emulate.

Kevin Morby - Singing Saw

Title track from the 2016 album by former member of the bands Woods and The Babies. This atmospheric track features the theremin-like sound of the singing saw itself.


Lush - Rosebud

First entry in over 20 years and a result of their blink and you'll miss it reunion.

From "Blind Spot"

"Hewing closely to the ephemeral vibe of 1990's Gala and the more plaintive tracks sprinkled across 1994's Split, these new Lush songs are instantly unmistakable—the pairing of co-frontwomen Miki Berenyi and Emma Anderson's voices and chiming guitar tones sounding every bit as diaphanous as they did over 20 years ago"


malcolm middleton - little hurricane

From "summer of '13"

"Middleton has made a dance record for the disenfranchised, oh sure it's a cliché, but Summer of '13 is one of the most refreshing things you hear all year. Come on you miserable bastards, this here is the soundtrack to your summer of '16"


Matt Berry - The Small Hours

From "The Small Hours"

"There's a looseness to the sound that gives it some needed warmth and dynamics, while there are still enough vintage synths and spacy overdubs to keep it weird and home-cooked. So, the best of both worlds."


Party Politics - The Rhythm Method.  Released on Fnord Communications in 2016.

Lovable pair of world weary, young geezers who were a sort of a mix up between The Streets and Pet Shop Boys via Suggs.

The Rhythm Method are a London based duo, consisting of Joey Bradbury (main vocalist) and Rowan Martin (producer and backing singer).

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

Vanishing Twin - The Conservation of Energy

Nice 'n' dreamy does it...

Vanishing Twin are an experimental psychedelic pop group from London. Their music harbours echoes of Stereolab, Broadcast and the Brazillian Tropicalia movement of the late 1960s. This is taken from their debut album, Choose Your Own Adventure.


Modern Studies - Bottle Green

Folk Rock band from Scotland

From debut album "Swell To Great"

"Swell to Great is made up of stately folk-pop, inspired by the sounds made by a battered Victorian harmonium. The result is a dreamy collection of songs that fit together like a hoard unearthed from a dusty old trunk in the loft."


Motorama - Above The Clouds

From "Dialogues "

"Muffled guitar chords redolent of Neutral Milk Hotel are the drivers behind the track "Above the Clouds" and feature some of the best vocal melodies by Parshin on the album. "


North Sea Radio Orchestra - Vishnu Schist

From "Dronne "

"The beauty of NSRO's music is that it feels like a core sample drilled down through the last few hundred years of music, revealing traces of Purcell, Victorian parlour music, Britten, sea shanties, and krautrock."

Wolf People - Kingfisher

Wolf People were a folk-rock band from the slightly unlikely location of Bedford, tending towards the proggier and more psychedelic side of the late 60s/early 70s folk-rock sound. From their fourth album, Ruins.

Starling Electric - No Clear Winner

From Electric Company, the power pop-tinged 2016 album from the musical project of Michigan native Caleb Dillon.

Butchers Blind

The Posies - Squirrel Vs Snake

Taken from the album Solid States, " "Squirrel vs Snake" is a solid single stuffed with smart wordplay, classic-sounding chord changes and gorgeous hooks — sort of like the Decemberists without the annoying Wes Anderson-isms."

Jeff Parker- Executive Life
Tortoise guitarist Jeff Parker has played on lots of Chicago jazz albums- on his first record he made after moving to LA he mixed up live improv with J Dilla style hip-hop sampling (of his own music) making a record which though it has a fair degree if mellowness, never really lets up in terms of bubbling new melodic ideas. The album's title "The New Breed" was the name of an Afrocentric gear shop his late father owned- I'm not quite sure what this track title refers to though, it doesn't fit the music...


Oddfellow's Casino - The lights on ermine street

From "Dust "

"The entire album's a fairly loose, stripped-back affair where the volume is rarely going to trouble your speakers, but it's also a haunting, revealing listen. Strings add a gorgeous edge, and similarly the piano and backwards guitar add a reflective dimension which could almost play during the closing credits of an old black and white movie"


Old Fire - The Orchids

Old Fire is the project of Texas based musician and programmer John Mark Lapham, once of The Earlies and 4AD band The Late Cord

From "Songs From The Haunted South"

"This transposed air of melancholy, wistful nostalgia, and ghostly reflection is apparent throughout the album, and coincidentally or not Songs From The Haunted South has a similar atmosphere to the classic 4AD collaborative This Mortal Coil albums. However, Songs... puts all this through a hazy Americana-inspired ambient filter, laced with much subtle psychedelia, and the occasional skewed pop melody"


Promise And The Monster - Hammering The Nails

Swedish singer-songwriter Billie Lindahl

From "Feed The Fire"

"It is magnificently indefinable—based in contemporary folk yet tilting toward experimental and avant-garde rock—an otherworldly, cinematic expression that delights in its own daring and offhand sophistication"