Quite a wonderful recent addition to my collection, this. The story of Rodriguez is quite amazing and I strongly recommend doing a little bit of research via your search engine of choice.
I Wonder taken from the 1970 album Cold Fact is a ragged, soulful, folky rotation ’round a cavalcade of choruses. The playing is a little raw and ropey, but that certainly adds to its charm. And along with Rodriguez’s soulful vocal, it deserves to be buried treasure no more.
Here’s the debut single from Temples, another great addition to Heavenly Recordings’ roster. Strap yourself in for a psychedelic nugget that’s heavily indebted to the ’60s and bursting at the seams with narcotic harmonies, cavernous drums and 12 string Rickenbacker firepower.
Temples prove that sometimes retro-fetishism is acceptable; I can’t wait for my 7-inch to arrive in the post!
My latest trawl through music’s lesser-spotted gems has led me to the ethereal beauty of Ombre. This past week, I’ve been listening extensively to their new album Believe You Me. Its eclectic genre-hopping is tied together by Julianna Barwick’s soothing, dreamy vocals entwined around Helado Negro’s mellow baritone.
Most of the album is a low-key, experimental delight with one arm wrapped around the shoegazing community. However the track presented today, Weight Those Words, smartly ups the tempo adding not only Latin rhythms that evoke Os Mutantes and Astrud Gilberto-esque Tropicalia, but also jazz infused solos and classical orchestration.
A very clever record:
A recent and wonderful discovery of mine is the Japanese band Toe. I barely know a thing about them; only that their music is often filed under the chin-strokingly awful term “mathrock” and somewhat less biliously, “postrock”.
Their predominantly instrumental recordings feature intricate bursts of clean six-string virtuosity combined with outrageously syncopated – and complicated – drums. By transposing grade 8 level musicianship into a “beat-combo” lineup, punk it ain’t.
In particular, Toe’s remix album Re:designed has caught my ear. Chewing up and mashing their rhythmic guitar battles, and spitting out heavily filtered versions is particularly interesting and appealing; however for your aural pleasure here is a live performance of the most straightforward track from the album: Velvet Blanc.
Bit late to the table on the newest Beach House album – I’ve been meaning to buy it for a while. It was definitely worth the wait.
Only a moderate fan since the Devotion album, I was mightily impressed by how their game raised on Teen Dream. If Devotion was a rather lo-fi, one-paced and monochrome album, Teen Dream was like a burst of Technicolor. Bloom continues in this vein (on the first half of the album in particular), with a focus perhaps on slightly more mainstream-leaning melodies from lead chanteuse Victoria Legrande – only slightly, mind.
The beauty in Beach House’s simple, unhurried and melancholic songs is perfectly encapsulated throughout the whole album, but I’ve selected The Hours for your listening pleasure:
Here’s a stone cold slab of seventies blues-rock’n’soul from Slowhand and the boys.
Each brooding, tentative and soulful verse leads into a climbing bridge underpinned by Duane Allman’s Southern fried slide geetar. Each rising bridge rushes onwards, higher and higher, peaking at the song’s glorious and uplifting chorus, Clapton and co spurring each other on through this hymn of unrequited love.
Raw, tight and hot – simply the sound of a band firing on all cylinders: