Blimey, it’s been a while….
I’d been lost composing a post about the Smashing Pumpkins reunion and how much a twatbadger Billy Corgan was but it ended up becoming a meandering rant about music’s biggest knobheads (especially Pete Townshend) and lost its way.
I’ve recently made a comment along the lines that there’s been nothing ‘of note’ in terms of new music this year only – looking at my Spotify playlists – to be proven wrong and realise that while we’re not quite halfway through the year, 2018 has seen some pretty decent new music find its way into my jukebox. So, to get back in the swing of posting, here’s a bit of this year’s new music I’ve been enjoying.
Lucy Dacaus – Night Shift
I actually found this one after following those ‘related artists’ trails. I love a good slow build song – it’s fairly documented on this blog – and this is just that (it’s past the four minute mark before it all kicks off!) and makes me think of Jeff Buckley in terms of structure and style. The album it’s taken from – Historian – has been massively well received critically and is a joy to listen to. It’s a deep, intricate and beautifully crafted work that’s the aural equivalent of a good, absorbing novel with so many different pieces coming together into one amazing narrative propelled by a wonderful voice.
Ben Howard – A Boat To An Island On The Wall
Talking slow builds… I’ve commented on Ben Howard before and since discovering his music I’ve loved it all. Yet I clearly wasn’t paying any attention as he dropped a new album last week that completely caught me off guard. It’s amazing and ticks so many boxes on my list – mood atmospherics, chilled finger-picked acoustics, thunderous and reverb ridden electrics, complex layers… it’s only a matter of time before it’s on my shelves, it’s already on heavy digital rotation.
Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks – Shiggy
It’s odd that despite how much I enjoyed Pavement, I never really got into or paid any attention to Stephen Malkmus’ solo work. However, the new Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks album Sparkle Hard is thoroughly enjoyable affair (am I alone in hearing Billy Joel in opener ‘Cast Off’?) and it’s a real thrill to hear him get freaky with his guitar again on ‘Shiggy’.
Toundra – Toureg
In my Five from Spain post I included Exquirla – the collaboration between a flamenco singer and post-rock band from Spain. Toundra is that thunderous beast and their new album – Vortex – dropped earlier this year. I could’ve put any of its tracks on here – they’re all a meaty slab of the good stuff.
8 thoughts on “Spinning the New”
Thanks for highlighting these albums. I wasn’t familiar with any of these artists, but based on listening into their tunes you highlighted, they all sound worthwhile to further explore.
I’m particularly impressed with Lucy Dacaus. I’m also with you about the power of the build. To me one of the greatest tunes of all time in this context is Zeppelin’s “Stairway”.
Most of the contemporary music I listen to are “old artists” putting out new records like the new Roger Daltrey soul-oriented solo record, which I think is excellent. Unfortunately, I’ve largely given up and don’t pay much attention to other new music. Your post proves this is a mistake, since amid all the mediocre crap dominating most of today’s mainstream music, there are still good artists out there.
The difference to the 60s and 70s when much of the mainstream was great music is that good artists are much harder to find these days. I guess I still remember way too well the times when you could switch on mainstream radio and could hear great songs.
Thanks and glad you enjoyed. I certainly find myself sticking to new releases by old favourites though with Bruce seemingly locked in his Vegas stage there’s not too much on the horizon. I’ve given up on radio and realise I’m no longer in the target demo age range for many that play “new” music so try and keep up via online music new sites and Spotify is pretty good for sourcing it too but, yeah, the mainstream is chock full of… empty fluff
If you like Roger Daltrey, I would encourage you to give his new album “As Long As I Have You” a spin. It’s got a cool soul vibe to it, and his voice is still ace!
I’ve loved Howard since ‘Oats on the water’. Lucy Dacus sounds awesome, I’ll be looking deeper into her stuff.
Yeah some good ones. I also like when Lucey takes off on ‘Night Shift’. Here’s the funny thing. I’ve been listening to the Malkmus release just today. Another guy I trust (catchgroove) recommended it.
Ah, cool – yeah the Malkmus one is a strange thing – all his ‘solo’ stuff had kinda sailed past me unnoticed until this one and there’s a lot to dig on it. I still hear Billy Joel in the opener though which seems a weird reference for such a decidedly ‘ALT’ songwriter
Yes it does and it also reminds me of an Eno tune. Cant put my finger on the exact one