Thursday, June 30, 2016

Feel good hits of the 30th June

1. 'Shut Up Kiss Me' - Angel Olsen
An early taster of MY WOMAN, the forthcoming follow-up to 2014's superb Burn Your Fire For No Witness - and fuck me if it isn't absolutely brilliant from the very first play. 'Shut Up Kiss Me' is very definitely more in the vein of that last LP's real outlier, the 90s rock-out 'Forgiven/Forgotten', than the alt-folk/alt-country for which Angel Olsen has largely earned her reputation. Now I REALLY can't wait for the album to drop.

2. 'Miniskirt' - Braids
Righteous feminist polemic meets gargantuan-sounding glitchy synth-pop, from the Canadians third LP Deep In The Iris - and the highlight of a stunning (though sadly sparsely attended) gig at the Oxford Academy in the middle of the month. The creativity and talent on display were impressive - especially in comparison to the sold-out Brian Jonestown Massacre show I went to at the same venue two days later...

3. 'SOS' - Portishead
'SOS' was hardly a cheery tune to start with, and it certainly isn't in Portishead's hands. The cover originally featured in the recent film adaptation of J G Ballard's High-Rise, but has since acquired significant political resonance thanks to the fact that its video ends with a quote from Jo Cox, the MP murdered in the run-up to the EU referendum: "We have far more in common than which divides us." The video was played on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury before the tribute to Cox that got a festival still reeling from the news of the referendum result off to a sombre start.

4. 'Depreston' - Courtney Barnett
Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit has been once again monopolising the car stereo of late, and 'Depreston' never fails to raise a smile with its gently mocking commentary on hipster coffee fetishism and gentrification.

5. 'Ether' - Mogwai
After the last installment of Feel Good Hits, I gave Atomic a proper listen and am pleased to report it's very good indeed - especially this twinkly beast - and certainly far superior to Mogwai's last "proper" album Rave Tapes.

6. 'Vessel' - Zola Jesus
Braids' support act, local artist Esther Joy Lane, had me itching to revisit Grimes and particularly Zola Jesus. Conatus never lived up to the standard set by this superb single, sadly - but perhaps we should just be grateful for the existence of 'Vessel' as an indication of what Nine Inch Nails might sound like fronted by Lady Gaga. The climax is awesome every time.

7. 'Right Now' - Amber Arcades
Annelotte de Graaf aka Amber Arcades will be pitching up in Oxford in mid-October for a gig at the Cellar, and this track - hazy jangle-pop meets Deerhunter - should suffice as evidence of why I'm very much looking forward to it.

8. 'Chwyldro' - Gwenno
As a huge fan of Cate Le Bon, it's little surprise that Ronan of Nightshift is smitten with Gwenno. The former Pipettes member -who, like Amber Arcades, is signed to Heavenly - sings in her native Welsh over dreamy motorik electronica that inevitably recalls Stereolab.

9. 'Starve' - Rollins Band
Writing about Henry Rollins recently, it occurred to me that I'm largely unfamiliar with his music. This taut, muscular track was a good place to start - in Rollins' own words, "if James Brown was born into King Crimson and had to write a song with Fripp".

10. 'Anxiety' - Preoccupations
It's a busy old time for Jagjaguwar at the moment, what with new records from Angel Olsen, Dinosaur Jr and this lot - the band formerly known as Viet Cong. While Olsen's comeback has made an immediate impression, I can't say I love this. Maybe that'll change, though. After all, the previous album was so, so good...

And, in a new development (possibly just a trial), here's a Spotify playlist with all of the tracks except 'SOS', which isn't available. The version of 'Starve' that's included is live rather than studio.

No comments: