The Essential Six - January 2020
I was happily having a break from writing stuff about music, but then I heard a load of good music so I thought I'd pop them in a list and send them into the ether. Here are the 6 best things I listened to in January:
Field Music - Making a New World (Memphis Industries)
Field Music veer back towards their varied, sprawling Plumb-era sound on this ambitious 19 track collection of pop-prog ideas that has an air of Quadrophenia about it. And much like The Who, Field Music like to do their research (this one's about how society coped in the aftermath of World War I and originally came about via a commission from the Imperial War Museum). Musically it takes Field Music's well honed sound and also delves into smokey bar room jazz, funk and much more in between. Solid stuff.
BC Camplight - Back to Work (Bella Union)
BC Camplight is also gearing up to release a new album, Shortly After Takeoff will be the follow up to his critically acclaimed rage-fest Deportation Blues. This new track is called "Back to Work", which does seem to suggest a theme developing (maybe Brian Christinzio is working his way through the government departments) and the new album is centred around his personal experiences of "madness and loss". If the rest of the album is anything like this track it's going to be another winner. A sumptuous, dizzying treat.
Islet - Geese (Fire Records)
It seems like aaaggggeeeesss (I've just checked and it seems like it's been 7 whole years) since Islet last released an album, but they are finally gearing up to release a new one called Eyelet (out March 6th) and "Geese" is an utterly gorgeous, dreamy electro preview. This is quite a departure from their more psychedelic previous output so I await the new record with bated breath.
Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs - Reducer (Rocket Recordings)
A rare Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs track which is both (relatively) fast and (relatively) short, this is also the closest the band have got to a proper pop single (don't worry it's still quite intense). Reducer is a mouth watering taster from the band's forthcoming third album Viscerals, due out on April 3rd.
Mitski - Cop Car (Dead Oceans)
There's no new album imminent from Mitski but we should probably just take whatever we can get. "Cop Car" is a surprisingly creepy and bombastic track which is taken from the soundtrack to horror film The Turning. Mitski's softly spoken, but bluntly put lyrics shine on top of a White Stripesesque riff in an unlikely winning formula.
RECORD SHOP TREASURE
Jacques Brel - Les Marquises (Barclay)
I bought this in Newcastle's excellent RPM records in the sale for about £4. I'd never heard it before but I've since discovered it was Brel's final album, released in 1977. It's Brel through and through but also has more adventurous cinematic elements which begs the question what would he have gone on to do if he hadn't died at just 49 (a year after this record came out). Well worth a listen.