Hello, music lovers and everyone else! 🎶
How are you feeling today, Friday the 13th?
Are you worried about all the horrors happening around the world?
Or will you be with the #newtunes selection of songs and the wave of music from all different styles, known and unknown musicians, trying to make this world we live in a better place with their sounds and melodies?
Musicians need listeners and if we give them a chance with a few minutes of our time we will lose nothing, maybe even someone will discover something for themselves.
Of course, if someone can't stand the sounds, just skip it.
The Hives - Countdown to Shutdown
I already featured the Swedish band The Hives and their album The Death Of Randy Fitzsimmons a couple of months ago.
Now we have another single from that album, Countdown to Shutdown.
Another dose of uncompromising guitar rock'n'roll that sounds very fresh, wild and energetic, even after 30 years at the height of their fame, and refuses to grow up. Highly recommended!
Baba Ali - Burn Me Out
Babatunde Doherty, or Baba Ali, is an interesting name, an American who, at a time when hip-hop and rap were king, was one of the few who listened to Alan Vega and Joy Division. And in the US he was uninteresting with his version of the beat.
He moved to England, found a guitarist, Nik Balchin, and they started to play in nightclubs as anonymous people. In 2021, they released their debut album Memory Device and caught the attention of producers in the London electronic scene. This year saw the release of their second album 'Laughing Like A Bomb', from which the song 'Burn me Out' is taken. Electro punk groove with sharp post-punk riffs. Very good. I'll keep following this duo, rumour has it they're making a raid on America...
A.Savage - Elvis In The Army
Andrew Savage, poet, musician, composer and painter, better known as the frontman of the American indie post-punk band Parquet Courts, has released a self-titled album 'Several Songs About Fire' (eagerly awaited by music critics) and presents it with the single Elvis In The Army.
Of course, he shines with his lyrics, of which there are just enough, changing the focus from the soaring backing to the vocals at just the right moment in the songs.
Steven Wilson - Impossible Tightrope
Steven Wilson is a British composer, singer and guitarist. If anyone is unfamiliar with him, he is also (or more) well known for being a founding member of the progressive rock band Porcupine Tree, and recently released his seventh solo album 'The Harmony Codex'. In 2017, The Daily Telegraph described him as:
a resolutely independent artist and probably the most successful British artist you've never heard of
His response was:
I'm privileged and I do whatever the hell I want
For the presentation, I chose a slightly longer track 'Impossible Tightrope' which is, mainly an instrumental essay of unpredictable rhythms, a combination of progressive music with interventions in free jazz with excellent saxophone and electronic inputs, produced and sonically almost perfect, with an excellent balance between treble and bass sounds, superior dynamics in which light and heavy/loud sounds are clearly heard. Highly recommended.
Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids - Afro Futuristic Dreams
Idris Ackamoor, the American saxophonist and composer, has once again proved that he belongs to the very top of spiritual and Afrofuturistic jazz after six years with his reincarnated band The Pyramids and his new album 'Afro Futuristic Dreams'.
Africa as inspiration and rituals as a means of expressing personal and political thoughts is the red thread of the album's sonic picture.
The opening song, with the same name as the album, immediately draws us into its looping structure, as several voices belt out the three words of the album title, the guitar comes in with a repetitive hypnotic riff, like something from a Tuareg song. Recommended.
Slowdive - Shanty
Reading, England's Slowdive did everything they were famous for in just six years, between 1989 and 1995 - and then they broke up. They were one of the leaders of what I call 'the scene that celebrates itself', which meant that their audience was mostly musicians, they were the pioneers of what is now called shoegaze, but at that time, in 1995, the sound was badly received by the music critics, the labels stopped working with them and then, as I mentioned, they broke up.
It was only later, almost fifteen years later, that their second album Souvlaki from 1993 became an icon of the psychedelic noise of 90's British music and in 2014 they started to perform again and this year they released a new album 'Everything is Alive' which has a big hit pop song Kisses.
I chose the song 'Shanty' to introduce it, which I think is typical shoegaze, a hazy, drawn-out guitar-synth atmosphere pierced by sharp but not harsh guitar lines, kind of like sunbeams piercing a smoky room. And male and female vocals, somewhere between a shy whisper and a comradely consolation.
Brìghde Chaimbeul featuring Colin Stetson - Pìobaireachd Nan Eun (The Birds)
In my musical explorations I came across a (until now) unknown to me Brìghde Chaimbeul, a Scottish musician from the Isle of Skye, who has been playing Scottish small pipes since a young age, and her second album 'Carry Them With Us', released in April this year.
She draws on Gaelic folklore and tradition with her arrangements and adaptations, including singing in her mother tongue of Gaelic. She says she is still fascinated by bagpipes because they evoke emotions of despair and joy and make people dance or cry.
By the way: did you know that the Queen of England was woken up almost every day for 70 years by a royal servant playing the bagpipes under her window at 7.15 in the morning and then at her funeral?
Oneohtrix Point Never - A Barely Lit Path
Behind the pseudonym Oneohtrix Point Never is producer Daniel Lopatin, who has been involved in many things in his two-decade-long career, mainly in the mainstream, producing The Weeknd albums, directing Superbowl halftime shows and creating soundtracks for Hollywood productions.
But, he's always returning to alternative experimental electronica, through which he explores the music of the 80s and 90s he grew up with.
With his new album 'Again', his fourth in a row, he returns to his original path of discovering nostalgia in progressive, experimental melodies. He uses AI for the vocal samples and also for other production, which I find interesting because AI is probably the most controversial topic in contemporary music and you have to have the courage to do something like that to not be eaten alive by musicians. Because the current musical works created with the help of AI sound confusing like we are caught between two radio stations spinning the same song at the same time. This is, of course, the result of a thousand permutations of an algorithm logically assembled into the most appropriate piece of music, just as nostalgia for years long gone is stitched together from fragments of memories, each slightly distorted and colored according to the subjectivity of the moment in which we want to hear it. Well, Daniel shows (at least I have this feeling) that if we use AI to help us perform certain ideas and sounds, it can serve as a handy instrument.
Well, I can also mention that on this album Daniel also collaborated with Lee Ranaldo, guitarist of the cult Sonic Youth.
That's all for today, I hope you liked something, and thank you for your attention.
#2023 ( a new playlist asap...)
6.10.2023, 22.9.2023, 15.9.2023, 8.9.2023, 1.9.2023, 25.8.2023, 18.8.2023, 11.8.2023, 4.8.2023, 14.7.2023, 7.7.2023, 29.6.2023, 23.6.2023, 16.6.2023, 9.6.2023, 2.6.2023, 26.5.2023, 19.5.2023, 12.5.2023, 5.5.2023, 28.4.2023, 21.4.2023, 14.4.2023, 7.4.2023, 31.3.2023, 24.3.2023, 17.3.2023, 10.3.2023, 3.3.2023, 24.2.2023, 17.2.2023, 10.2.2023, 3.2.2023, 27.1.2023, 20.1.2023, 13.1.2023, 6.1.2023
If you're interested in new sounds from the past four years, you can listen to them at these links - there are Spotify playlists for each year: