Well, it's that time of month again. Cast the mind back over the musical happenings of the past 31 days and pick out a few gems for your listening pleasure. Here's some of my favourites.
Album of the month
Jeremy Warmsley - The Art of Fiction
So he's gone and done it. Well, almost. A few months back, someone at Drowned in Sound said (on a podcast) that that this album was the best one released by a solo artist this year. I'm still not sure about that, but come the reckoning, in a month and a bit's time, I'm sure The Art of Fiction will be there or thereabouts for me. It starts with a blast on 5 Verses, and then proceeds to weave its way through different musical styles, complex arrangements and literate lyrics. It's not straight pop music, but there's something immensely satisflying about immersing yourself for a while in this album. From it, my current favourite - the sweeping, soaring Modern Children.
Download: Jeremy Warmsley - Modern Children
Buy The Art of Fiction
Songs of the month
1. Epic Man featuring Plan B - More is Enough
OK, so this isn't that new, but I have only recently laid my hands on a copy of this beauty. For once, Plan B isn't rapping about urban grit 'n' squalour. This time it's partying, pure and simple, while Paul Epworth lays down stabbing synths that make this tune more 'new rave' than Klaxons.
2. Jamie T - If You Got The Money
In which the cheeky chappie from Wimbledon delivers the goods yet again with another tale of urban life. If he keeps getting better at this rate, he'll be a world beater next year.
3. M. Craft - You Are The Music (Playgroup Remix)
Trevor Jackson's Output Records may have gone, but the man's still got what it takes on the remix duty. He's taken Martin Craft's wonderful You Are The Music, already a firm Daily Growl favourite, and done a remix that not only changes the song and fits it for the dancefloor, but keeps its feel just the same. No mean feat.
4. Simple Kid - Serotonin
My memories of the song are firmly in the woozy delights experienced when I first heard it at the End of the Road Festival. Listening to it on Simple Kid's new album 2, it still sounds great - coming on like Neil Young's Heart of Gold taking a delivery of hip-hop beats, then sloping off to laze around in the English countryside on a warm summer's day. Lovely.
5. Lavender Diamond - You Broke My Heart
The Queens of Noize folk CD introduced these LA folkies to me. The track on the compilation was just a warm-up for the simple ethereal beauty of this track. Y'know, sometimes hippies are alright.