Lightships is the solo project of Gerard Love, the most sunshine and melody drenched member of Teenage Fanclub.
Muddy Rivers is taken from his debut solo album Electric Cable and breezes effervescently from the speakers; dreamily washing its echo-laden flutes, keys and chiming open-chords over the listener.
When I listen to this track, my mind can’t help but drift away to a Sofia Coppola-inspired landscape; all grainy sepia sunsets and seasides, warmth and tone; Love’s gentle delivery lilting like a lullaby, another one of his simplest and sweetest melodies.
Latitude 88 North by ELO – this weekend’s Heavy Rotation track – came about as a result of me joining the iPod generation (a CD and vinyl man, I’ve finally caved… but can an mp3 or AIFF file rotate though, really?), syncing my iTunes and simply hitting shuffle. A bullseye, straight off the bat… for those that enjoy a mixed metaphor.
And it’s a great start to the weekend, I’m sure you’ll agree. Like a good friend of mine commented when I played it to them for the first time, every time I hear it I think “That is a chorus”.
In fact, all budding songsmiths with a penchant for penning melodic pieces should listen to Latitude 88 North – that chorus is a masterclass of melody and harmonies. The swirling strings and phased drums add widescreen cinematic grandeur. Basically, listen and learn kids.
Ahhh Pachelbel’s Canon in D. Perfect Sunday music, wouldn’t you agree?
So Buckets of Moonbeams goes classical today. Or baroque. Or chamber. I’m not too sure which it fits into – I’m quite liberal with my use of genre classification for such things.
However, we can class it as one of the greatest pieces of music of all time. That its sheet music was lost over the centuries, meaning that it was nearly consigned to history (thankfully rediscovered in the early 20th century) is even more reason to cherish it.
I suppose it’s one of the ‘hits’ of classical music now. Pretty much everyone’s heard it or knows of it – but put your prejudices aside (before you scoff and dismiss it as wedding music or something of that ilk), and listen to it and enjoy it for what it is:
Taking residence on my stereo recently has been “If” by Bill Ryder-Jones, former guitarist of the under-appreciated and still underrated Hoylake band The Coral. Ryder-Jones’ debut solo album takes the Neil Young approach of “heading for the ditch”.
By that I mean that Ryder-Jones has left his roots and forged his own path to created an album of startling orchestration and instrumentation with a widescreen cinematic concept: “If” is the imaginary soundtrack to the novel “If On A Winter’s Night A Traveller” by Italo Calvino.
I could have picked anything from the filmic beauty of the album but have chosen its melancholic, gorgeous closer:
Following my recent post on Feel Flows, I’ve been listening to a lot of music that’s been heavily influenced by The Beach Boys.
I found this gem by Tony Rivers & The Castaways via this obscuresound.com blog. I know nothing about the song or band but quite simply, it sounds like the musical equivalent of purified Californian sunshine.
A special mention goes to the unexpected Latin-flavoured outtro too – I’m sure Brian and the boys would approve.
Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers
The most played song on my stereo this weekend has been this gem by Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers.
The track bursts at the seams with the exuberance of youth and is a doo-wop-meets-rock-&-roll barnstormer. I can’t help but raise a smile when Lymon belts out the title one minute and twelve seconds in. The perfect antidote to the pre-working week blues.
Lymon’s story is a textbook tale of rock & roll destruction – starting before the birth rock & roll itself – but that’s for another time. Until then, enjoy: