Sunday, July 19, 2009

Weekend Music Roundup (London Edition)

As promised, here's the first part of my Rough Trade spree roundup. I say first part because there's a number of EPs that I bought that are not yet cataloged on RYM (which is where I like to link you to). Once I've caught up on things and got those worthy discs represented there, I will do the second part of the London roundup...but for now, feast on these treats.

Rob St. John - Like Alchemy EP: This handmade, limited edition E.P. captures the same sadness of other recent Scottish neo-folk songwriters. There's something about the climate there and the gloom that lends itself so well to acoustic guitars and fairy tale sadness that is still somehow uplifting.

My Sad Captains - Here & Elsewhere: This was a Rough Trade recommendation and a worthwhile one at that. The debut LP from a London band is just plain good indie rock.

Orphans & Vandals - I am alive and you are dead: This is a very interesting album, very dense lyrically. It has an obvious Nick Cave influence in that way...listening to it, it was actually what I always wanted Current 93 to sound like. It has a very similar feel, but much better vocally. 

Placebo - Battle for the Sun: Having been a Placebo fan for over a decade at this point, and owning every album and every single from the first 3 albums, there's little surprise here except that in it this album doesn't feel stale at all to me. In fact, I think it might be their catchiest since Without You I Am Nothing

Simon Connor - Seaside Surpise: A great little EP from Manchester singer/songwriter. Like Scottland, there's also something about Manchester that just infects the soul with music. Home of some of my all time favorites, you can usually identify a Manchester quality to hopeful pining in it's music. 
Foreign Slippers - Oh Death: Female singer-songwriter from Sweden, this EP is full of those familiar sad tempos that please me. There's a soulful Carol King quality to her voice, but softer and faded as the title might suggest.

Sons of Noel and Adrian - s/t: Another neo-folk band made up of members from many other bands. This a beautiful album. It's also one of those albums that I think the cover art actually gives you a good feel for the sound. It reminds me of a tighter, more melodic, more lyrics version of TwinSisterMoon. It's also another one draped in sadness.

Scout Niblett - This Fool Can Die Now: This one's a WOW. Another neofolk, but a more Americana version of it, it features Bonnie Prince Billy on most tracks. His voice mixed with Scout's creates an amazing sound. It almost feels like a companion album to Bonnie's classic I See A Darkness. In the right mood (or wrong mood depending) this one could be a weeper. It captures the beautiful sound of fading away into nothing.

Since there are so many "sad" albums on this list, and most of my lists, I thought I'd leave you with this quote that I stumbled upon in my morning reading this lazy Sunday:

Nobody can really resist music...At the bottom of all music you have to hear the tune without notes, made just for us, the tune of Death. - Louis Ferdinand Celine

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