It’s been a challenging summer which has seen me facing up to some fears, having a bit of an existential crisis and going back into therapy – hence the lack of posting on any of my blogs. At times like this I like to play a lot of music and this summer I’ve mainly been raiding Spotify for new stuff.
I was a little sceptical about Wild Flag to begin with – initially they just made me miss Sleater Kinney all the more, but the album has grown on me I am now fairly well converted by songs such as ‘Boom’. Wild Flag is middle-aged women rocking out with a sense of humour and generally having no fucks to give.
Also in grown-up riotgrrls, Leisha Hailey’s new Uh Huh Her album Nocturnes is very, very cool – possibly a little too cool for the likes of me actually. I bought it anyway after hearing the track (and seeing the video for) ‘Another Case‘. It has been my summer pop tune in a summer that hasn’t been very pop.
I came across Sleigh Bells via the Rubyfruit Radio podcast and I’m not entirely sure what to make of this band – do I like their music or not? There’s something rather gloriously nasty about their sound on tracks like ‘Tell Em’
I’ve never had a lot of time for Throwing Muses’s 1996 album Limbo, but I’ve been giving it another chance recently and finding awesomeness such as ‘Tar Kissers‘. How did I miss this song until now? And I just love this cover of Jefferson Airplane’s ‘Somebody to Love’ from Kristin Hersh’s other project, 50 Foot Wave.
I was aware of Martina Topley-Bird through her work with Tricky, but had never listened to her solo work until recently and she’s been really growing on me. She’s one of those female artists who gets ignored, but carries on doing her own thing and making her music anyway. I particularly like ‘Too Tough to Die‘.
I absolutely love Kate Bush’s new album 50 Words for Snow. She seems to be finally settling into minimalist and very sophisticated sound. But despite the sophistication, she’s enough of a geek to include the Klingon word for snow in the title song. I think my favourite track is ‘Snowflake‘
I don’t really like the Trembling Bells, but this collaboration with Bonnie Prince Billy on his song ‘Riding’ is fantastic. I’m not sure what Will Oldham’s fans are going to make of the upbeat reworking of ‘I See a Darkness’ on the new EP Now Here’s my Plan, but I like his refusal to take himself too seriously and the video manages to be both funny and unsettling
You may have noticed that I do enjoy a good dirge, so thanks to Mark Lanegan for producing an entire album of them, aptly named Blues Funeral. I think my favourite track is St Louis Elegy, partly because my partner is from St Louis.
Also in dirges, here’s P J Harvey doing her best strangled, wailing, vengeful goddess, art rock blues thing live with the song ‘Uh Huh Her‘. I love the way she says “merci beaucoup” in a gentle little voice to the crowd at the end.
Leonard Cohen’s new album Old Ideas has also been making me laugh and cry. He’s 76, he still hasn’t got it sorted out and is still drawing pictures of naked ladies in the liner notes, but that’s why you love him: Different Sides
Roll on autumn.