Monthly Archives: July 2011


Portishead – Roads

This seems to match my mood this evening. It is mellow and sootheing. Sunday nights always seems a little downbeat as the sobering thought of work the next morning looms. I love how minimal it is, which highlights q fragility in Beth Gibbons vocals which makes them even more arresting.

Portishead, along with Tricky and Massive Attack made me view music in a different way, allowing me to realise I can like something dark and more brooding too.

30th July

Elbow – Lippy Kids

I usually gravitate away from recordings of live versions of songs but this is one of the rare exceptions to that general rule. It think the stripped down quality here makes it even more striking than the studio version.

Van Morrison is another notable deviation to this general phenomenon. He is the only artist to have produced a live album that didn’t disappoint me. In fact he has released 3 that all blow my mind in It’s too late to stop now (which has also maybe my favourite album cover of all time), Live at the Grand Opera House Belfast and A night in San Francisco.

I would be happy to hear any suggestions as to live tracks or albums that may change my mind about the concept.

This song is double apt as I had my own bad experience recently with a certain Lippy Kid.


The Avalanches – Since I left you

I remembered this recently and it has been a long while since I heard it. It is perfectly sunny and upbeat. It is a nice sentiment in the song. Meeting someone that stimulates the discovery of worlds so new.

Since I met you I’ve found a world so new…


28th July

Vondelpark – TV

This is another sparse, washed out electronica track. I seem to have been listening to an endless stream of these recently. The murmerred, hypnotic lyrics add to the dream-like feel.

I think Vondelpark are from London and are named for a park in Amsterdam.


The Ronettes – Be my baby

Is this the greatest pop song ever? 3 minutes of perfect, Phil Spector Wall of sound production married with the exceptional vocals make me think there can’t be many better. Maybe The Supremes at the height of their powers but beyond that I am struggling to come up with any rivals. Any suggerstions?


Sigur Ros – Hoppipolla

When I first heard this I thought it was the most beautiful track I had ever heard. It is still pretty glorious quite a few years later. I am not sure what it is exactly but I find it spellbinding. Maybe it is the strange language in which they sing or the undulating between quiet fagility and soaring urgency that makes it entralling.

25th July

Youth Lagoon – Cannons

This is the newest addition to my MP3 player and has been receiving heavy play.

It is the latest in a series of songs of a similar ilk that have grabbed me (several of which I have posted, with probably some more to come). They all have a kind of washed out, dreamy sound, like The Beach Boys meets Fleet Foxes. Not sure if this is just the style of the moment or they just speak to my slightly jaded mental state.


Amy Winehouse – Tears dry on their own

I was a bit stunned by the news of her death yesterday. There is something numbing about someone so talented and so young dying.

This tune really reminds me of a happy year I spent in Berkeley, CA. It has a sound that is a throw back to some of the great soul music of Stax, Altlantic and Motown. I don’t know if I could pay a song a bigger compliment.



Jay-Z – Dead Presidents II

This is taken from what is probably my favourite hip hop record of all time, Reasonable Doubt. There are a few up there but certainly none that I like more. It is Jay-Z’s debut and is before he became the world icon, Glastonbury headlining business he is today. He was still hungry.
It has all the hallmarks of a hip hop song I like – an easy bravado, a great beat and clever, dexterous lyrics.


The National – Fake Empire

What I like about this song is the vocal. There is something very compelling about it. Maybe it is the singer’s slightly gruff tone. It is another good wet weather song, one I listened to tonight while hunkering under my umbrella.

You’re half awake in a fake empire…