Monday Mixtape

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Hello all, I hope you’re well. It’s been a long week; wonderful, but long. I visited a friend in Liverpool so spent a lot of time travelling on trains, not sleeping much and drinking, so I was a bit worn out come Sunday. But, it was a great week. Liverpool is a stunning city; the architecture is beautiful and, at times, immense, the people are very friendly and there is plenty to keep you occupied with. Aside from visiting my dear friend, the purpose for visiting was to watch Low, a band I hold deeply in my heart, perform at the Anglican Cathedral. If you don’t know the Anglican Cathedral I recommend you look it up online, it is a truly majestic building, overwhelming enough to make even a religious cynic feel slightly humbled. The concert was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. Seated beneath a one hundred foot high ceiling with a few glasses of white wine, the broad and strong sound of Low reverberated around the room and lay upon your body and ears in a manner that was impossible not to be moved. The closest I could describe the feeling I experience of that performance would be religious.

Unfortunately, I can’t yet do another mix tape just of Low songs, even though that would always be a welcome pleasure. Therefore, I’ve put together some of the stuff I was listening to on the train over the last few days. There’s no real pattern, but it’s all good. (You can listen to the whole playlist here).

Enjoy.

1)    Sonic Youth – Teenage Riot

For me, Daydream Nation stands as one of the greatest albums ever made that, a decade after hearing it for the first time, has become more exciting and fascinating. The opening track from the album, ‘Teenage Riot’ is just brilliant.

2)    Melody’s Echo Chamber – Endless Shore

Oh, this song. The textures that weave from the speakers are precisely what is meant when music is described as ‘dream like’. From Melody’s breathless vocals to the weightless synth lines, Melody’s Echo Chamber are one too keep your ears pinned to over the next few years.

3)    PJ Harvey – Water

For a fan of music, PJ Harvey is easy to adore for she demonstrates all the venerable qualities of a great artists. She is a figure of immense integrity, her work is consistently fantastic, she has an identifiable style, is continually developing and challenging herself and not falling in to the traps of creative safety or repetition. Her debut record, Dry, is less refined than her recent works, but where it lacks polish it exudes directness and immediacy. She is a role model for all who are interested in creating.

4)    Low – Sunflower

Though I sermonised their talents for a mix tape a few weeks back, having travelled over half the country to see them I had to include a track by Low. The opening cut from their masterpiece Things We Lost In The Fire, there is little to add to what I have already said. Just be taken away with their sounds.

5)    Björk – Cocoon

One aspect of this song I delight in is that the title describes the entire song. It feels as if Björk is spinning a web around you as the track glides timelessly on, surrounding you in textures as warm, intimate, delicate and comforting as you’ve ever felt.

6)    Benjamin Clementine – Cornerstone

A recent discovery to me, Benjamin Clementine came to my attention through Jooles Holland’s television show. Although ‘Later…With Jooles Holland’ has it’s faults, what makes it truly valuable and necessary programme is every now and then someone like Benjamin Clementine will feature and leave you breathless. With only one e.p. released at this moment, this clearly gifted artist has the potential to produce something coming years.

7)    Magazine – A Song From Under the Floorboards

Not many songs are written from the perspective of a cockroach, but of those that are this is the best. Unfortunately Magazine have become a band rarely spoken about now, a band to one must seek to find instead of them finding you, and often do not get the praise they deserve. Their first two albums are fantastic, and ‘A Song From Under the Floorboards’ was a standout song of an era.

(You can read more about Tom here)

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