After the glut last month, I’ve brought this back to a more manageable ten songs again, but there were certainly a lot of tracks to get my attention this month (and some of them will be featured on other posts anyway, so they aren’t going to miss out). Once again, too, there is quite a mix of styles.
/Tuesday Ten/398/Tracks of the Month/Feb-20
/Tuesday Ten/Tracks of the Month/2020
As many of you may have noticed, I’m uninterested in sticking to particular styles of music. My tastes in music don’t fit into one particular box, and thus what I write about here won’t be confined as such either. Such a mix of interests was shown neatly at the excellent 10 Years of Chaos event at the weekend, which was extraordinarily diverse in every way, and I’ll be saying more about it on /Memory of a Festival/034 later this week. In the meantime, on with /Tuesday Ten/398.
A quick explanation for new readers (hi there!): my Tuesday Ten series has been running since March 2007, and each month features at least ten new songs you should hear – and in between those monthly posts, I feature songs on a variety of subjects, with some of the songs featured coming from suggestion threads on Facebook.
Feel free to get involved with these – the more the merrier, and the breadth of suggestions that I get continues to astound. Otherwise, as usual, if you’ve got something you want me to hear, something I should be writing about, or even a gig I should be attending, e-mail me, or drop me a line on Facebook (details below).
/Track of the Month
/Ladies for Babies (Goats for Love)
The return of Nadine Shah with her fourth album later in the spring was launched with a small-scale gig at Moth Club last week, which clearly had a fairly hardcore crowd from our vantage point, and allowed her to play a number of new songs. I’d already heard this lead single, but live it gained a new energy, as the odd rhythm of the song allows a hand-clap accompaniment to pick up quickly. It seems mellow, and jazzy to start, as Shah tears into societal expectations of women to be “baby carriers” and little else, but explodes into a furious, choppy chorus that is quite brilliant. Roll on the album in June.
/Pleasure From Pain
/Pleasure From Pain
David Christian and Chris Shay worked together for this outstanding EP, a top-quality hark back to pure Body Music, with punishing rhythms, strict tempos and barked vocals that are clearly aimed directly at the dancefloor and getting feet moving. The quality of the songs and production means that there is no doubt whatsoever that pretty much the entire EP will be dancefloor-bound in time, but my favourite track on the release is the one that is a little slower and more measured – the title track. A pulsing synth winds through the whole track, with it only hitting a harder, 4/4 stride for a while, but it’s such a hard hit that much longer might be exhausting. More of this, please!
I know little about this artist, other than that they are on the bill for Cold Waves IX in September (that I’m going to be reporting back from), but I’ll certainly be there to see their early set on the Sunday. This is a fascinating song – a sparse, echoing synth and four-to-the-floor beat gradually gets additional clothes and a tense pay-off that sees it burst into an energetic climax, before simply fading away into silence. That close feels unfulfilling, but it makes me want to hear more, so maybe it has done the right thing after all.
/Why Always Why
/Perception is/as/of Deception
The duo that make up ADULT. have long been an intriguing group, taking their electronic music to unexpected emotional extremes. This album is no exception, as they apparently painted their windowless basement black and recorded it there, effectively depriving their senses and questioning their perceptions. The first product of those sessions is this thumping track, that has a few curious touches – the extra beats that break up the rhythms, in particular, are jarring, and presumably deliberately so – but is certainly another excellent track from them, and I’m now curious as to how the rest of the album will sound.
As my frequent featuring of such bands will attest, I’m an absolute sucker for darker, slower synthpop, and so this is right up my alley. A(nother) German duo that specialise in this style, apparently, I’ve clearly slept on them up to now as this is not the first single from the album (and indeed they’ve been around for some time), but for me, it’s quite the entry point. As the title suggests, it was released in the middle of last month, but is very much the anti-valentines song, as it is a song of lost love and betrayal. This mid-paced song has a light touch to the electronics and is dominated by the heartfelt vocals that really give it an emotional sucker-punch.
/We Lose The Night
Amid the ever-growing rush of post-punk bands that I hear every month, it’s nice to hear one or two that really do have a feel of old-school goth, and here’s one such band. This Swedish band appear to drip goth from every pore, the chiming guitars, the foreboding of the bass-led rhythm section, the darker vocals – not to mention the fantastic anthemic chorus and that mid-song key change, that kicks ass. This makes me want to chug cider-and-black* and backcomb my hair*, and pile down to the nearest goth club until dawn. (*Ok, maybe the latter, not the other two!)
/I Let It In and It Took Everything
This band got recommended to me the other week by a friend, who warned that they are very much fans of Deftones – and that is true, they are in certain stylings. But this Liverpool-based band are also from that progressive new breed of metal bands that are willing to try their hands at other styles, not relying just on the same old chug of before. But if you want full-on metallic fury, the extraordinary three minutes of Gored will not let you down. The down-tuned bass is accompanied by what sounds like synths and post-production to drop it down the well yet further, and the sonic maelstrom that results from the churning, restless instrumentation is something to behold.
/The Great Derailer
/The Black Maria
Recently announced to be playing Infest this summer, these electronic veterans are back with a new album soon, and the new single is an interesting one. Somewhere between industrial power and acoustic gothic – complete with accompanying, quasi-operatic vocals intertwining with Martin Bowes’ rasping tone – it takes a moment or two to get the head round, simply because there is so much going on here. But it’s a fascinating sound and a really good return.
It still kinda amazes me just how Pigs x7 have caught on. The unwieldy name, their distinctly sludgy metal sound, didn’t exactly point towards being playlisted on 6Music for months on end with their excellent last album, but that’s what happened, and now they are selling out shows left-right-and-centre. Happily, their first single from the follow-up Viscerals makes it clear that they haven’t made one iota of accommodation to their new-found fame, the song carried by a nasty, bass-heavy groove, and later drops into a cavernous breakdown that sounds like it’s going to swallow your head whole. Perhaps a nod to their current status is the final kiss-off: “Ego kills everything…”
I’m not gonna lie – I knew nothing about this band before they took to the stage supporting Nadine Shah last week, and perhaps wasn’t especially keen to start with when it looked like they were going to be jazz-funk (two percussionists, bass, vocals and two saxophonists)… But a few songs in, my reservations were obliterated by their sheer sense of fun and abandon. Taking in punk, hip-hop, African sounds and a few other things besides, as well as, yes, jazz and funk, they were enormously entertaining and my friend and I agreed that they’d make an excellent festival band. This track is the lead single for their upcoming album, and has been a rampaging earworm for days since the show – spiralling saxophones duel over what is basically a live breakbeat, and the chorus is as big as the animal they are talking about. Needless to say, if you have the chance, see them live.