Soundtrack to last week

Image shows the cover of Lauryn Hill's album The Miseducation of Lauryn hill. The cover features a sepia headshot of the artist

Lauryn Hill, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998)

I hadn’t listened to this for years. The production is amazing and it still sounds incredibly fresh and vibrant, but you can also hear the influence its had on a lot of artists since it was released. A classic album. Top track, Ex-Factor

Image shows the cover of the Bonnie Prince Billy album, Ease Down the Road. It is a photograph of an empty green field on a cloudy day

Bonnie Prince Billy, Ease Down the Road (2001)

This isn’t one of my favourite BPB albums, but I like it. It’s mostly about sex and is fairly upbeat for Will Oldham. Top track, At Break of Day

Image shows the cover of Pulp's album Different Class. It is a photograph of a wedding party with a black border

Pulp, Different Class (1995)

Woah! This was a nostalgia trip and a half. Some of the lyrics seem a bit dated and immature now, but these are still great songs. I saw Pulp live twice, once when they played the entirety of their grim This is Hardcore album, and a second time when they were a lot more friendly! There was nothing like a storming ‘Common People’ encore. Tops track, Something Changed (because I am a sap).

Image shows the cover of Morcheeba's album Big Clam. It is a photograph of a blond white woman relaxed in a chair listening to a record player in a red room.

Morcheeba, Big Calm (1998)

I’d forgotten how much I like this album. It’s warm and comforting and lovely. I saw Morcheeba live once too and they were brilliant. Top track, Part of the Process 

Image shows the cover of Mary Gauthier's album Drag Queens in Limousines. It shows a blurry, sepia toned photograph of the artist reflected in a mirror

Mary Gauthier, Drag Queens in Limousines (1999)

I first saw Mary Gauthier live back in 2003 in a tiny coffee shop. It was incredible, everyone was crying and I was so drunk. I’ve seen her three times since and she’s always fantastic. This is a great album, sad but full of life and compassion. I love every song, so it’s very hard to pick a fave, but I’ll go with Our Lady of the Shooting Stars

Image shows the cover a greatest hits collection. The cover features three black and white photographs of Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin, Respect: The Very Best of

I had to listen to some Aretha #RIP

Soundtrack to the Week

Album of the Week

Image shows the cover of Janelle Monae's album Electric Lady. It depicts Monae and five identical women dressed in black and white stripes. There is a skull in the lower left hand corner.

Janelle Monae, Electric Lady (2013)

I’ve been listening to this a lot recently. It’s a life-affirming joy of an album. There are so many great tracks here (‘Given Em’ What They Love’, ‘Q.U.E.E.N’, ‘Electric Lady’, Dance Apocalyptic’, ‘Ghetto Women’), it’s hard to pick a fave, but right now I think I’ll go with ‘We Were Rock and Roll

Image shows the cover of Ladytron's album 'Light and Magic'. It features an abstract design with purple and pink lines on a black background.

Ladytron, Light and Magic (2002)

I can’t say this one does a lot for me, but it’s fun electronica. I usually have it on in the background when I’m doing something else. Top track: Seventeen

Image shows the cover of the album Raising Sand. It features a black and white photograph of Robert Plant (L) and Alison Krauss (R) standing in a desert, both looking away to the left

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Raising Sand (2007)

A lovely collaboration from two brilliant vocalists, plus a fantastic production from T. Bone Burnett, results in a very satisfying listen. Top track: Please Read the Letter

Image shows the cover the Townes Van Zandt compilation album Drama Falls Like Teardrops'. It features an oval sepia toned photograph of Townes on a white background.

Townes Van Zandt, Drama falls like Teardrops (2002)

Epic compilation with almost forty tracks. I love Townes Van Zandt, but I have to say, this album is a lot of Townes in one go and I find it a bit of a slog to get through.

Image shows the cover of the collaborative album Case/Lang/Veirs. It features an abstract image that conveys a sense of icebergs, seas and mountains

Case/Lang/Veirs (2016)

This is a regular listen for us. It’s a beautiful work from three amazing vocalists and songwriters. I particularly like how you can tell who led on the writing of each song, but it’s still a coherent album. Top track: Atomic Number

 

Soundtrack to the Week

Album of the Week

LP

LP, Lost on You (2016)

LP has been around for ages. My girlfriend saw her play live about twelve years ago. She finally seems to be getting some traction as a purveyor of upbeat, lesbian pop/rock. I’ve been listening to this all week. It’s more bluesy than her last album and is full of catchy tunes like ‘Muddy Waters’, ‘Lost on You’, ‘Other People’ and ‘Strange’. A lot of fun.

Top Track, ‘No Witness’

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Soundtrack to the Week

Pixies

The Pixies, Complete ‘B’ Sides (2001) 

This is a great compilation, which includes the first Pixies song I ever heard, ‘Wave of Mutilation’ (UK Surf). Top tracks for me are ‘Into the White‘ (oh my god, those drums at the beginning before Kim Deal starts intoning “And there ain’t no light”), and this fantastically ominous cover of Neil Young’s ‘I’ve been waiting for you‘.

tindersticks

Tindersticks, Curtains (1997)

I probably never would have come across this band, but my college housemate, who was into them, used to put songs on mixtapes for us. They have since established a place in my music collection with their lush, romantic, and slightly seedy dirges. Top track, ‘Rented Rooms’.

murmur

REM, Murmur (1983)

Still sounds amazing (and incomprehensible). Top track ‘Talk about the Passion’ 

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Soundtrack to the Week

Ryan Adams, Heartbreaker (2000)

Heartbreaker

This album had such an influence on me. It was one of the first americana albums I bought and it blew my mind. It’s also one of the best break-up albums ever made. Top track, Come Pick Me Up

Patti Smith, Land (2002)

pattismith

Amazing career retrospective.

Gillian Welch, Hell Among the Yearlings (1998)

hellamong

I think this feels like Gillian Welch’s coldest, starkest work. I don’t listen to it very often. Top track: Caleb Meyer

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Soundtrack to the Week

Cat power

Cat Power, Sun (2012)

I don’t love it as much as The Greatest, but I like it a lot.  Top track, ‘Ruin

 

uh huh her

Uh Huh Her, Common Reaction (2008)

Shiny electropop and so much fun. Top track: ‘Not a Love Song‘.

 

decade

Neil Young, Decade (1977)

Incredible retrospective and it’s only the first ten years.  Top tracks ‘Expecting to Fly‘ and ‘Winterlong‘, which is probably my favourite Neil Young song.