Ah, the mighty Mancold. Destroyer of civilisations, leveller of even the strongest male constitution, and sole reason for Chicken Noodle Soup sales and low-quality daytime TV. But obviously we don’t like going on about it, preferring instead to suffer in silence with only the occasional feeble-voiced request for a cup of tea and to be told how brave we are, so on with the whatever…
There’s a lot of good/great stuff about at the moment, whether it be brand-new material or bumping into something I’d not previously heard of and diving into a wealthy back-catalogue, so this selection is barely representative of what’s going on in these ears of late. And there’s even more to come this week!
UNKLE – Country Tune (Feat. Gavin Clark)
From their new 6-track “The Answer EP” comes this haunting and slightly disquieting song, thanks to a rather odd second half that really goes to town with the way that voices and instrumentation get manipulated to the point where I’m not actually sure which is which. Where Did The Night Fall is one of my favourite albums of this year (and my favourite UNKLE album by far), and this EP is an excellent accompaniment to the album that preceded it. Available from the band’s store at unkle.com in rather limited amounts.
That plaster looks like it’s going to sting when it comes off though…
Red House Painters – Dragonflies
Listening to the new Sun Kil Moon album this week, I was drawn back to this album. Which is always a tricky proposition as there’s a lot of memories attached to this. Anyway, songs rarely are as beautiful as this, nor are they so regretfully romantic. A perfect coming-together of great music and words that drip with pathos.
Maybe if it didn’t evoke such sadness I wouldn’t hold it so dear, but where would the fun be in that?
Mark Lanegan Band – Wedding Dress (Live)
From an album culled from performances on Irish TV recorded in a little church in County Kerry, this is the last and best track on the album. The Mark Lanegan Band essentially plugged Mark back into the amps where his previous efforts had been largely (albeit not exclusively) acoustic, and this performance takes it full circle with (most of!) the Band quietening it down a bit during a song where Mark swaps vows with Shelley Brien. Which, as they’re doing this in a chapel, may well make it official unless at least one of them had their fingers crossed.
Blitzen Trapper -The Man Who Would Speak True
I have to admit that, despite the best efforts of friends, this album is my first foray into the world of Blitzen Trapper. And my friends are absolutely right, even if the lyrics generally revolve around murdering people in previous centuries. If ever Spinal Tap ever get round to resurrecting their musical about Jack The Ripper (“You’re a naughty one, Saucy Jack / You’re a haughty one, Saucy Jack”) then this lot should be the ones to help out with it. There does seem to be a rhythmic similarity to this and the title track to their Black River Killer EP, but this is all taking me back to listening to my older brother & sister’s record collections in my childhood, and hats off to them just for that.
Dylan LeBlanc – If Time Was For Wasting
An interesting new proposition, this 20-year old guy with a voice not dissimilar to Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold and an image not unlike an alt-country Evan Dando, big things beckon in the near future for Dylan LeBlanc. It’s a light, summery tune that’s ideal for driving about and humming along to and settles nicely in the brain after the very first play as if it’s always been there. I look forward to seeing what he comes up with next.
Right, that’s me done. Can someone sort me out a Lemsip? I’m feeling rather feeble.