17 songs, 1 hr 18 min, 12 min reading time.
I had a big month of listening to music this month, there were over 40 tracks I really liked but I spent quite a bit of time getting it down to the 17 below.
1) “First Rain” – Duval Timothy
The impression I get from this song is it is the first rain for a group of young children in an unspecified nation. It is sad yet presents hope at the same time and it is just a beautiful, impactful tune. You can almost imagine you are there; through the medium of music, Duval Timothy has managed to create a visual piece or a piece that stimulates imagination and that is something quite special.
Album: “2 Sim” (2018)
Label: Carrying Colour
2) “Best to You” – Blood Orange
Okay so this was a month where I discovered Blood Orange. It was the this versus the track Charcoal Baby to make the playlist. This won out as it is just a great poppy tune but Charcoal Baby is well worth your time too. The female lead is Empress Of – the brilliant singer who did Woman Is a Word which can be found in Jake 7.
Album: “Freetown Sound” (2016)
Label: Domino Recording
3) “Coming Alive” – Two Another
A bit of a Jungle spin-off, but this is still a fine, chilled out track that you can definitely get grooving to.
Album: “Another Tape” (2018)
Label: Another Label
Apparently this track was recorded over 30 years ago when Davis did his switch from Columbia to Warner Bros. It was never released and last year the original producers got in touch with Ledisi to record some vocals over the top for a Record Day release. It is jazzy, funky and groovy and back in the time Davis even wanted to do something different with this recording. The painting on the track is even Davis’ work.
Album: “Rubberband EP” (2018)
Label: Rhino Entertainment
Lazarus is a Malawi street musician with the rare skin condition albinism. Through music he is trying to make a living while highlighting the persecution and unfair treatment of people with albinism in East Africa. I did not know this backdrop before listening to it for the first time and just thought it was a great tune, but now I know its back story it’s good to know listening to it is helping to highlight an issue. Johan Hugo from The Very Best did a great job of producing it and making it sound fresh and as if you were there next to him on the street.
Single: “Ndife Alendo” (2019)
Label: Johan Hugo
6) “Knock Me Off My Feet” – SOAK
SOAK creates brilliant indie-pop tunes and her recent release of new singles (including this one) are great to listen along to. It must mean a new album is on the way, so keep your eyes peeled.
Album: “Grim Town” (2019)
Label: Rough Trade Records
This made it’s way into my Discover Weekly and I was pretty happy upon discovery. I was a great fan of Matt Berry’s Toast of London TV shows on Channel 4: it is an incredibly stupid but very funny show and this just brought all those memories of enjoying it back. It’s all still on All 4 so check it out and the music used for the credits is also by Matt – a brilliant track called “Take My Hand”.
Album: “Night Terrors” (2017)
Label: Acid Jazz Records
8) “Crushing” – Ex:Re
This is a stunning song. Ex:Re is playing at Union Chapel next Friday 5 April, a venue I’ve been meaning to try for ages and with her ambience it could be a corker of a gig. It’s the lyrics that really get me in this one, they’re raw, meaningful and she sings them with passion – especially “it’s a lesson in Humans using Machines” – Cillian Murphy is also a fan and he has great taste.
Album: “Ex:Re” (2018)
9) “Mbappé” – DjeuhDjoah, Lieutenant Nicholson
Do you remember the brilliant World Cup last summer, the feelings, the hope, the fantastic football on all the time. This song about the star from that World Cup Kylian Mbappé just transports me back to then. Cheesy, poppy and a great laugh.
Album: “Aimez ces airs” (2019)
Label: HOT CASA RECORDS
10) “(04:30) Idler / Sleep” – Jamie Isaac
Jamie attended Brit School with none other than King Krule. Not only didn’t I know King Krule attended, but apparently they have done a lot of collaborations together, which I am now going to search for. Jamie’s choral influence is apparent as he was a lead in a choir from school.
Album: “(04:30) Idler” (2018)
Label: Marathon Artists
11) “Daughter” – Four Tet
Chilled, atmospheric, repetitive, but Four Tet often delivers and this is another fine example. This is for his daughter, when I thought he had just named it that and that makes you realise why it’s so dream-like.
Album: “New Energy” (2017)
Label: Text Records
12) “Nothing Arrived – Live from Spotify London” – Villagers
I’ve chosen the one that accompanied the brilliant TV Series Big Little Lies with the Second Series out later this year. I must have missed where it appeared in the show, because it was at a dinner party earlier in the month where the soundtrack for the show was played and this fantastic piece came on that I saved it. I spent about a week listening to it non-stop, it’s on the third or fourth time it hooks you in.
Album: “Spotify Sessions” (2013)
Label: Domino Recording
13) “All Night” – Romare
This came on while I was listening to music with my mum on her Spotify radio after the playlist/song before had finished – what a Spotify radio! The All Night Live Session 1 is well worth your time as we highlighted on Instagram last week.
Album: “Love Songs: Part Two” (2016)
Label: Ninja Tune
I can’t believe it took me this long to go through Mount Kimbie’s 2013 album Cold Spring Fault Less Youth. It is great. This track has some fantastic lyrics such as “Krakatoa was the loudest of sounds” and “what’s done is done.” Break Well from the same album is worth checking out also.
Album: “Cold Spring Fault Less Youth” (2013)
Label: Warp Records
15) “Lyla” – Big Red Machine
Bon Iver and one of his mates from The National got together and made Big Red Machine, releasing tracks from last year (2018). What I particularly enjoy about this standout tune from their self-titled album is that it has a bit of sass and attitude in the way it is delivered, deviating from the other tunes.
Album: “Big Red Machine” (2018)
Label: Justin Vernon & Aaron Dessner
16) “Something Good/Devotion (Passion Interlude)” – Estelle
Yes, the same Estelle that produced the banger American Boy (feat. Kanye West). This is from her 2014 album True Romance. It is a great dance track and I wish I heard it more when I was out. Again, from a Spotify Radio, but not my mum’s, I found this when Alfie suggested I should listen to Estelle’s Shine album and I’m glad I left it running once it had finished.
Album: “True Romance” (2014)
Label: Established 1980 Records
Curse of the Contemporary made my 2018 Top 10 Discovered Tracks, but I must have been in an odd mood to miss this when I listened to the EP after loving Curse of the Contemporary. This is soft, delicate, painful but magnificent and I’m glad I went back to the EP recently to realise this.
Single: “Late to the Flight” (2018)
Label: Dead Oceans