All the way back to the 1998 Mercury Music Prize winner for this Sunday’s listen. Gomez are a 5-piece band hailing from Southport (the North West’s eleventh most populous settlement in the North West for those of you who were wondering). Their music sits somewhere between blues, indie and rock. Anyway, it’s a classic, and if you don’t know, then at least check out tracks #1 and #2. Classics.
The middle of a pandemic might not seem the best time to release a debut album, but Westerman’s Your Hero Is Not Dead feels like exactly the music we need right now. It’s full of uplifting, mesmerisingly beautiful songs that combine challenging and unusual textures with just the right amount of dopamine-inducing choruses to satisfy our simple animal brains. It’s an album that will leave you nodding in trance-like stupor one minute, curled up on the floor in the foetal position covered in snotty tears the next. Blue Comanche and Confirmation offer up sublimely accessible pop refrains, but the album is one that really deserves a full 40-minute sit-down listen. It’s raw and unflinchingly honest but fundamentally optimistic about the world; the best new music of 2020.
Written by Tom Edkins
A bit of a change of pace here – something to nurse your Sunday heads. Meg Duffy’s Hand Habits was my most-played band of 2019; I’m slightly hooked on their particular brand of wistful folk . Lead singer Meg Duffy’s vocals waver in a fragile kind of way that draws emotion right to the surface. It’s beautiful, it’s calming and feels real. I hope you like.
Bonus album: placeholder is her second album, but the first, Wildly Idle (Humble Before the Void), is just as nice. Enjoy.
There’s a lot more to say about Meg Duffy, but I don’t really feel qualified. If you want to read more about how her album is “staging queer stories against a wistful Americana backdrop” then read this Pitchfork review.