12 songs, 1 hr 1 min, 6 min reading time.
A (mostly) chilled one from me this month.
1) “Small Hours” – John Martyn
One from Cillian Murphy’s 6 music programme – highly regarded at RunPip. Try and listen to the whole thing just sitting still.
Album: “One World” (1977)
Label: Island Records
2) “Paralysed” – Nilüfer Yanya
Chords strong enough to floor you. If you didn’t already think she was awesome, apparently she turned down a management offer from One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson. Heroic.
Album: “Miss Universe” (2019)
Label: ATO Records
3) “Out of Space” – The Prodigy
Included for obvious, if sad, reasons. Front man and lead singer Keith Flint died in early March. With tunes like this, he certainly won’t be forgotten in a hurry.
Album: “Experience” (1992)
Label: XL Recordings
4) “This Bitter Earth” – Dinah Washington
Dinah Washington’s voice cuts through me like a warm knife through butter. The way she hits the first syllable in heaven is enough to make anyone question their faith. This track has been covered and sampled loads since its original release, including a very nice version from Max Richter – the version without vocals features prominently in the soundtrack of the film Arrival (a great film).
Album: “Compact Jazz” (1987)
Label: UMG Recordings
This came out of the blue on my a discover weekly. Wicked production, great lyrics. It got me listening to more of Trim’s other stuff, turns out he’s done stuff with some cool people – including James Blake.
Single: “Still No” (2017)
Label: Good Manners
6) “Keep On” – Alfa Mist
One from my Dad as he keeps me up to date on what’s cool in Jazz. This is a great album from start to finish but this track captures everything that is good about it: excellent musicians following the direction of an excellent creator, and not being too worried about where it ends up. Here’s a really good short-film on the making of the EP.
Album: “Antiphon” (2017)
I heard this on the Hospital Podcast and had to rewind to get the first drop again. Even if you only listen to the first minute and a half, this track is refreshingly squelchy.
EP: “Turning Point – EP” (2019)
Label: Shogun Audio
8) “Birthplace” – Novo Amor
Taking it down a notch, I’ve been listening to this with the sun out and the first quarter of the year coming to an end. This song seems to encapsulate the ‘Winter was a bit shit but here comes summer and a fresh start’ feeling.
Album: “Birthplace” (2018)
9) “Stars” – Yosi Horikawa
A great bit of soundscaping – Horikawa likes his field recordings – and a very nice bass-led beat come together to create this lovely tune. Many sounds of Japan, a country I hope to revisit soon.
Album: “Vapor” (2013)
Label: First Word Records
10) “Ithaca” – Beatenberg
Another feel-good track, conveniently about same length of time as my walk to work.
Album: “The Hanging Gardens Of Beatenberg” (2014)
Label: Universal Music
11) “Azo Toke” – KOKOKO!
I found this stomper after seeing KOKOKO! on a festival lineup. KOKOKO! is a collective born in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Their output includes performing arts as well as music, which makes me think they’d be great to see live.
Album: “Fongola” (2019)
12) “Randy” – Big Thief
A friend sent me a Big Thief track, and this one on the same album stood out to me. Thanks Frances!
Album: “Masterpiece” (2016)
Label: Saddle Creek