It’s March and it’s time for something new. The whiff of Spring is in the air and I feel like we’re waiting for something to happen. When will Kanye West ever shut the funk up and release some decent music? When will Donald Trump take off his mask and reveal that he is Ashton Kutcher, come to punk us all? When will people stop posting photos of themselves having a sweet time in some far off country with spicy tans and spicy men? All these questions and more are leaving us tied in knots, holding our breath and biding the time by eating Cadbury’s and watching The Undateables. Instead of drowning our sorrows in cheap wine, I propose we find some new music to make sweet sweet love to our bored ears.
My first March pick is Zero7, who I was introduced to on my travels. They are a band made up of Jose Gonzalez and (you won’t believe this when you hear the stuff) Sia! The weird, faceless girl with the wig! Shia laBeouf! This group definitely wins the award for least likely pairing. Their sound is totally unique: kind of electro sexed up jazz pop mixed with chilled out indie folk. It’ll make your mind groove in totally unexpected way. Kind of like when Jason Derulo released “Want you to want me” and secretly blew everyone’s mind. I think their songwriting is inventive and meaningful and their production is sultry and enticing. Ultimately, they’re fresh as a freshly picked cucumber.
My second pick is Sharon Van Etten. Her ethereal voice melds perfectly with the chilled out backing that characterise most of her songs. What I love most is her biting lyrics, which feel honest and unadulterated. The track “Serpents” is a beautiful bit of songwriting and has a more intense, rocky sound than some of her other stuff. It’s superbly badass and is one of my absolute tracks of the moment.
Cigarettes After Sex are my mellow pick of the month. Their sound is dreamy and almost psychedelic, reminiscent of a less pretentious XX. I’m in love with the lyrics on “Affection”, which contrast sharply with the soporific sound. The words bite with almost as much subtle acidity as Sharon Van Etten’s. The trippy guitars and echoey production make you want to float on a lilo in the sea for the rest of eternity. Big fan.
My rap pick is Loyle Carner, who has collaborated with Tom Misch in the past (a modern soul hero). Carner is a young rapper based in London, whose relaxed flow makes his music smoother than Casanova. There’s a devilishly sexy saxophone on “Ain’t Nothing Changed”, which is a tribute to his best friend and producer who he refuses to work without. “Florence” is the sweetest song I’ve heard in a while. Wish someone would write me a song like that (hint hint anyone who was thinking about it).
Father John Misty is a long time favourite but I’ve only recently gotten into his most recent album ‘I Love You, Honeybear’. Father John is a modern poet, regularly describing man’s existential crisis in an unabashedly consumerist society. His lyrics are always thought provoking and his sound equally interesting. He goes between stripped back piano and guitar songs and experimental electro tracks. My favourite storyteller of the moment.
So feast your ears upon my humble pickings- I hope they spice up your life just a little bit.
Keep truckin friends,