Summer listening 2018

Well it’s been quite a summer so far, lots of unusually warm days (and nights) and a Football World Cup that is both entertaining (so far) and virtually all consuming. We’ve had a a lot of great new music to listen to over the last few months, so we thought we would run through some of our recent favourites.

Tracyanne & Danny - Tracyanne & Danny

The self titled album by Tracyanne & Danny has been on pretty much constant play here since it’s release. We are huge fans of Camera Obscura and like so many others were deeply saddened when Carey Lander of the band tragically passed away in 2015. Understandably the band fell silent as they tried to come to terms with the news.

Fortunately, Tracyanne from the band has found a new writing and performing partner to ease herself back into the musical world. The Danny of this project is Bristol based Danny Coughlan, best known for his work under the name Crybaby and the stunning album of the same name, which was released back in 2012 (it’s a beauty, you should buy it!).

The two of them set up camp in Edwyn Collins studio in Scotland and have produced a beauty. Heartfelt lyrics and beautiful melodies showcase their wonderful voices. It’s a gem of an album and by a distance our most played record of the year.

The Essex Green - Hardly Electronic

The Essex Green have been away for a while, their last couple of albums coming out in 2003 and 2006. Another band blessed with a beautiful female and male vocals, with songs that soar and sing. Let’s hope that we don’t have to wait another twelve years for a new record from them.

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks - Sparkle Hard

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks have been on a rich run of form over the past few years. The witty angular guitar pop that Malkmus is writing these days is, to my mind, amongst the best of his career. He has a sublime way with melodies, so much to enjoy on this fabulous record.

Yo La Tengo - There’s A Riot Going On

Yo La Tengo have surely become a global treasure. They plough their own furrow, untroubled by any passing trends or fads. They move from experimental, atonal epics to quirky throw away country tinged three minute wonders. This albums covers all the strands that make Yo La Tengo such and enjoyable band

Clay Hips - Happily Ever After

Clay Hips are a new band formed by old friends. Kenji Kitahama and Andrew Leavitt. They were previously in a sadly short lived band called The Fairways, who are worth your time as well. It’s not clear if the Clay Hips project is a one off reunion of a couple of pals or a longer term project. Whatever it is, this album is a gloriously melodic slice of sophisticated indie pop.

Cornelius - Mellow Waves

Like many people, I first became aware of Cornelius back in 1997 when the stunning album Fantasma came out. It was the sound of a generation that were happy to flirt with any sound, any style. Packed with good humour and invention, it was the gateway drug to a magical world of music from both him and array of fascinating sounds from Japan.

Since then every album has worked it’s insidious magic on me. Often on the first listen two, nothing much registers, then suddenly everything clicks into place. It’s as though he has reached into my head and reset everything, so that I hear in a totally new way. I love all the music he has made and the is no exception. As an aside, I was stupidly thrilled to meet him by chance at a gig that we were both watching recently.

Freschard & Stanley Brinks - Midnight Tequila

This is just a beautifully wonky, relaxed record. Overflowing with effortless melodies and joy. A perfect summer singalong record

Unlikely Friends - Crooked Numbers

I dont’ know too much about this record, other than a couple of the guys from Math and Physics Club are involved. That’s a pretty good thing to say about any band!