Monthly Archives: February 2013

The Majestic Arrows* – I’ll Never Cry for Another Boy (rehearsal) | (NAT)

A friend (thanks Maggie) sent me this song a couple of days ago and I haven’t been able to stop listening to it or hearing it in my minds ear since.

I know very little about the song or artist other than I really like it and intend to try to find out more. It is taken from an Eccentric Soul collection which was released by Chicago Label The Numero Group.

I’m not sure I can put it any better than the person who uploaded the YouTube video: “rehearsal for I’ll Never Cry for Another Boy, sounds nothing like the version that was released, but what it lacks in gloss it makes up for in what can only be called sheer magic.”


*Artist #616

The Unthanks* – Here’s the tender coming

I have to confess I don’t really know too much about this track or band. I spotted they were playing in Dublin at the weekend and I had never heard of them so I thought I would check them out. Wikipedia tells me they are a band from England’s North-East featuring two sisters.

Whilst perhaps the song is a little lightweight I have been unable to shake it all day. There is something about the sheer simplicity that has completely captivated me. I am sure this will pass soon (as it always does). There is also something about singers with strong accents that I find interesting, and I detect more than a hint of Geordie here.

Also, is it just me or do family groups produce perfect harmonies? I am thinking here particularly of The Beach Boys and The Bee Gees who were/are both spectacular in their own ways. Are there any other examples that you particularly like which I am forgetting?

The Unthanks:

The unthanks/RjK

*Artist #615

Raphael Saadiq* – Never Give You Up featuring Stevie Wonder and C.J. Hilton

Guest blogger Jimmy T highlights some silky smooth Neo-Soul

Raphael Saddiq is the inventor of Gospeldelic, and Stevie Wonder is a genius. In this track they team up to brilliant effect, I have never had the chance to listen to the full album in which this song appears, probably because this song is so good that I can never get beyond it.

I think that because he is blind Stevie manages to express more through his music than is possible otherwise. He is a legend in the truest sense of the word.

Raphael Saadiq:

Raphael Saadiq/JT

*Artist #614

Grouper – Living Room

Grouper, which is a solo project of Portland, OR singer Liz Harris, make music for Monday mornings. It is fragile if often rather inscrutable but I always find it soothes my racing mind as it adjusts to the jarring reality of being back to work.

This is taken from her recently released album, the cheerily titled The Man Who Died In His Boat. I have found lately (much to my shame) that I struggle to have the requisite attention span to listen to a whole album but what I’ve heard so far I enjoyed.

Grouper – The Man Who Died In His Boat:

The Man Who Died In His Boat


Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions – The Girl I find

There has probably been a Soul Music deficit on the blog recently. It is my first musical love and while I continue to get distracted by the shiny new things that I encounter I find myself returning to it over and over again.

What better way to redress this than with Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions. Curtis is a massive hero of mine and I started this blogging journey all those months ago with the incomparable Move On Up, which remains my favourite track of all time.

The reason I have been thinking of this song in particular, which is taken from the 1969 album The Young Mods’ Forgotten Story, is that it was sampled by Oddisee in his track The Carter Barron which was one of my favourites of 2012. I only managed to place this a couple of weeks ago after randomly stumbling across it on YouTube.

Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions – The Young Mods’ Forgotten Story:



John Maus* – Keep Pushing On

Don’t let anyone tell you John Maus is good live. He’s not. His abject, anguished karaoke routine is down there with the worst live acts I have ever seen. But his 2011 album, We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves, is worthy of your attention. Its dark, vaguely deranged, yet joyful sound turns a half-hour commute into a seaside ghost train, and leaves you better than it found you.

This video, for one of its floatier moments – Keep Pushing On, might hurt your eyes. Full-screen it to be sure.

John Maus:

John Maus/jusk

*Artist #613

Hanson* – MMMBop | (GPF)

This is a pure guilty pleasure! I heard it on the radio the other day and I couldn’t help but smile. It was like I was back in 1997 all over again. Happy times. It actually hasn’t aged too badly as pure radio fodder pop songs go. It is 4 minutes of pure sunny positivity.

Also, subsequent Googling lead me to a recent picture of the still performing (who knew!) Hanson. The contrast to their 90’s heyday is rather stark!

Hanson – 1997:


Hanson – Present:



*Artist #612

Foxygen* – San Francisco | (NAT)

I have to give it up to fellow bloggers Far from Cyan for this discovery. The track is so fresh and infectious. It has been playing on a loop in my head for the past week or two.

Foxygen are a Californian duo who make 60’s influenced indie pop. They sound like they were meant for a different era. This is taken from their recently released We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic album which was released on the JAGAJGUWAR label.

The fact that the song is ostensibly about my favourite city in the world does it no harm but there is more to it than that. I love the retro, somewhat irreverent sound.

I left my love in San Francisco. 

That’s okay, I was bored anyway…





*Artist #611

Mazzy Star* – Fade Into You

I have been meaning to feature this track, from Californian band Mazzy Star, for ages. It’s the song I have listened to most so far in 2013. And it’s not even that close. When I come to think about it I’m not sure how I haven’t managed to post it sooner.

I have to confess that I hadn’t heard until coming across it in a “Best of the 90’s” mix on Spotify at the end of December. I guess its 1994 release (on So Tonight  That I Might See) was just before my time.

I have subsequently been completely hooked by it’s wistful, languid style. The lyrics and dreamy, aching delivery have been playing over and over in my mind. It’s been a while since I have been so stuck on a song for such a long period of time.

Mazzy Star:

Mazzy Star


*Artist #610

Common – The 6th Sense featuring Bilal

This track, from Chicago rapper and actor Common, is taken from his excellent 2000 album Like Water for Chocolate.

It is an oldie but it has been on my mind for a while now. It came on my MP3 player while on shuffle and a couple of the lyrics really stuck with me. I liked them because they were profound, which is a rarity when it comes to rap. I like plenty of rhymes that are boisterous or funny but very few that are deep:

I start thinking, how many souls hip-hop has affected? How many dead folks this art resurrected? How many nations this culture connected?…

It also helps that the beat is amazing, with production from the legendary DJ Premier.

Common – Like Water for Chocolate:

Like Water for Chocolate