Friday Albums and Livestreams 5

by

A reminder that my midweek music discoveries are now website only to reduce the number of emails being sent out. This week featured Jim-E Stack, This Is The Kit, Haiku Salut, Paul & The Long Trees, Skullcrusher, SAULT and a Lady Wray artist profile.

Best out of context sentence from it: “A long one but worth the wait.” Make of that what you will.

You can sign up to receive this in your inbox every Friday here.

Albums

1) “Off Off On” (2020) – This Is The Kit

Magnificent. I mentioned it on Wednesday where I was pretty blown away by the track “Started Again”. I love the album as it has a lot of tracks worth listening to on it and great replay value. After revisiting their older work, it was confirmed that I think this is their best album to date and overall one of the best albums of 2020. Kate Stables joined The National for multiple tours and TV appearances before starting this project and perhaps this has helped to elevate their sound and add more ideas. 

Label: Rough Trade Records

Spotify link
Apple Music link
Deezer link
YouTube video playlists link
Bandcamp link

2) “Untitled (Black Is)” (2020) – SAULT

A lot of people’s album of the year. I don’t think I would go that far but it does have some cracking tracks on it such as “Wildfire” and “Monsters” as well as some impressive features including Michael Kiwanuka. However, sometimes you need to look beyond just the sound to recommend an album. This album has a message: it discusses systemic racism, injustice and police brutality while being proud in itself and encouraging discussion over violence. As a result, it speaks volumes leaving us many messages to take away and reflect on.

Finally, SAULT are beginning to reveal who they are as apparently the producer is Inflo (previously working with Little Simz and Michael Kiwanuka) and one of the artists involved is Leona Lewis’ Aunt.

Label: Forever Living Originals

Spotify link
Apple Music link
Deezer link
YouTube link
Bandcamp link

3) “EPHEMERA” (2020) – Jim-E Stack

Jim-E Stack released his second album at the end of October. It is a collection of all the sounds that were left out of the multiple projects he has worked on, including with HAIM and Bon Iver, that didn’t make it to the final cuts. If he can produce an album this good just using scraps that shows how impressive his production is. Using his contacts well, he gets an interesting group of artists to feature on it. It’s not a great album but it is a pleasant listen with some good moments.

Solid, indie pop with better production than most. Ephemera refers to written or printed memorabilia that is only enjoyed for a short period of time, referring in this instance to how the album was made and shows a snapshot of that time. The album being the memorabilia. Perhaps the album was more for Jim-E Stack and the memories he holds working with countless artists. 

Label: Jim-E Stack under exclusive license to AWAL Recordings America

Spotify link
Apple Music link
Deezer link
YouTube link
Bandcamp link

Livestreams

1) Kaytranada

Come on. This will be big, a livestream we’ve been waiting for. Kaytranada will be streaming from the legendary venue Societes Des Arts Technologiques in Montreal. A very cool looking building if you google it that has shown impressive performances in the past with interesting props and light shows (a foreshadowing of what’s to come?). Moment House is a new platform for artists to do livestreams on that doesn’t rely on ads and has been gaining traction thanks to the pandemic and everything moving online.

This Saturday, 7 November, 10pm GMT. £14 for a ticket as well! Not bad for a name that big. 

Moment House tickets

Bella Union Label Profile

Founded by two Scots: Simon Raymonde and Robin Guthrie of the Cocteau Twins. Now run solely by Raymonde after Guthrie left to do his own music in 2000. Initially set up to release Cocteau Twins music and collaborative efforts, they split shortly after. However, Simon and their manager stayed on to run the label. Arguably, they had two albums that should have been major hits in 2006 with Fionn Regan’s mercury nominated “The End of History” and one of the great indie albums Midlake’s “The Trials of Van Occupanther.” Unfortunately  it was not meant to be as they didn’t have the funds to push the marketing to drive the sales up.

Meanwhile, the Domino Recording founder, Laurence Bell, had told Simon to stick around for 11 years then something happens. So despite being in a bit of a rut he did this. Then something outstanding came in the 11th year. In 2008/2009 it was the mighty Fleet Foxes who made their name as they signed to Bella Union for all things Europe. A self-titled album that stayed in the charts for 100 weeks and was the biggest independent selling album of the year, earning the label a platinum disc. Then the floodgates opened and Father John Misty, Beach House and John Grant appeared further earning them sales and Brit award nominations. 

In a nice interview with Bella Union’s distributor [PIAS] (one for a later newsletter) Simon Raymonde had this nice tale to tell: “My dad was as big an influence as punk [on what I do]. He’d always say to me things like: ‘Don’t ever do a job that you don’t love… If you want to be a dustman, be a dustman. Don’t think you have to do some shitty job just because it pays well.’ That’s stuck with me for life.” Very good advice. 

Standout artists: Father John Misty, John Grant, I Break Horses, Ezra Furman, Beach House, Midlake

Spotify label page
Spotify fan playlist
Apple Music fan playlist
YouTube label page
Bandcamp label page

Submit your own music discoveries

Submit your own music discoveries to the website and be featured in a post on the site and in our monthly round-up newsletter.

You can sign up to receive this in your inbox every Friday here.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.