Over much of Europe lockdown may be easing (for now) but there is one thing that we are all still missing: live music.
This is a beautiful recording filmed in Sylvan Esso’s homestate of North Carolina in November of last year, with behind the scenes content that ramps up the intimacy. Live music at its tip-top, spine-tingling, goosebump-raising best. I honestly can’t recommend this enough.
Their third full album, Free Love, drops on the 25th. Two singles, Rooftop Dancing and Ferris Wheel are already out – check them out now.
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.
Jadu Heart’s first full length album is excellent. The masked duo are growing with every release – tightening their grip on their screwed-up electro-pop style, and casting a spell over the listener. The interplay between their voices (his rough and raw, hers sweet and tender) is perfectly measured; and the switches between moody and playful are perfectly executed. Even the album’s more straightforward rougher edges serve to increase its charm.
You can probably tell I like it. And it I like it more each time I put it on. Oh and boy you should see them live.
Most of the tracks have already been released so it might feel quite familiar. My star picks are Wanderlife and Harry Brompton’s Ice Tea, but in truth I could list half of the tracks on there.
Right so one of my mates is moving to Johannesburg. Which got me to thinking, what’s my favourite song called Johannesburg? Well it’s this one. What’s yours? It’s actually the only song I know called Johannesburg.
Some feel-good electro-piano-pop made right, by the misleadingly named German producer DJ Kaos. There’s nothing to hate about this one. It’s reminiscent of Breakbot. And that can only be a good thing. Put your feet up and enjoy.
There is some good music out there in the world. There really is. Hopefully I’ve helped you find some of it. Some of it is moody, some dramatic, some calming, some mysterious, some angry, some sad, some happy. And then there’s some that is really fucking happy. This track falls into that final category. I defy anyone to listen to this track and not break into a grin.
Look, I’ll just go ahead and say it. I LOVE Elder Island. They just don’t know how to make average music. I’m seeing them live tonight and I couldn’t be more excited. They are touring ahead of the release of their new album, Omnitone. Here are singles number 2, 3 and 4. Don’t say I’m not good to you.
Last week I posted The Magician Remix of I Follow Rivers. For me, there’s one other track that hits that upbeat electronica vibe so perfectly, and it’s this. Again it is the vocals of a Swedish producer being lifted by feel-good keys. Ah, 2011.
Sing it with me: “Oh my heart is like an eagle, I love to fall from the sky / It’s so beautiful, I see right through the water’s edge / And I love your hands, I let them lead me into the cage / So tender, but your body was warm, so frail / But your eyes like mine / The colour of ice”