Friday, May 30, 2008

Sophie's Pigeons

Here’s another little treat from Manchester’s Red Deer Records, the good people who put out the Sara Lowes album that I greatly enjoyed at the start of the year. Their latest release is by Sophie’s Pigeons, a four-piece centred round Sophie Nelson - she's the girl with the piano and the fine voice. The other three add further keys action, violin, glockenspiel, melodica, harmonium, clarinet, and a variety of children's toys.

There’s an EP that’s just come out – Say Play Sway, and it’s good. If you like your music unfussy, poppy and jaunty, with a big dash of Tori Amos and slightly skewed but top-notch tunes then this should be up your street. It’s breezy, highly infectious stuff.

They’re currently on a bit of a tour and playing a lot of gigs around Manchester, as well as a few places outside the North West. Appropriately enough, they played this week at the Local/End of the Road residency at Bush Hall in London with Woodpigeon. Check them out. I reckon there will be a lot more said about this lot before 2008 is out. There's an album slated for later in the year, which should be well worth waiting up for.

Download: Sophie’s Pigeons – Say Play Sway
Download: Sophie’s Pigeons – Stars and Garters

Buy the Say Play Sway EP from the Red Deer myspace.

Animal Collective / Atlas Sound @ Koko, 22 May 2008

Last week I fulfilled a long-standing ambition – to see Animal Collective live. Somehow, in the couple of years or so that I’ve been listening to them, I’ve never managed to see them play, though it hasn’t been for the lack of opportunities. So last Thursday I headed to Koko with anticipation and a little wariness. Their live rep can be erratic, so I was hoping for not too much experimental re-interpretation. But I needn’t have worried.

Before Animal Collective I saw the last few songs of Bradford Cox’s set as Atlas Sound. When I reviewed his solo album (which I really like), I wondered how Cox would re-create the dense layered sounds of Let the Blind... on stage. The answer was alone, with loops, backing tracks and guitar. This sort of performance can often be none-too-exciting to watch, but he just about managed it through engaging with the audience, good use of his tricks and the quality of his songs. Not amazing, but certainly a worthwhile warm-up.

Download: Atlas Sound - Winter Vacation

I’ve often seen Animal Collective described as psychedelic folk, which is puzzling after just listening to their records, but after seeing them live it makes no sense at all. The first part may have some truth, but folk? How many folk gigs do you spend having bass reverberate through your guts and leave with your ears ringing? Any reservations I may have had about the live show were resoundingly blown away by an incredible performance. If anything, the set was a lot tighter and conventional than expected, with songs often clearly recognisable, and sometimes even ending before the next one started.

Peacebone was a riot, the segue from Fireworks to Essplode and back again was thrilling, the new songs sounded great and the main set closer Brother Sport (one of these new ones) took me somewhere else. They also played a fantastic version of Comfy in Nautica, which is as close to a Panda Bear gig as we’re going to get.

For what was mainly three men mostly standing behind equipment, it was an absorbing and exciting gig. When not fiddling with wires or playing guitar, Avey Tare prowled the stage like an energetic weasel. The Geologist remained behind his gear, headlamp bobbing around Orbital-style. And over on stage right, Panda Bear alternated between pressing buttons and thrashing a stand-up drum-kit.

Sure, there was time spent standing intently (but never bored) while the trio cruised though their more downbeat experimental moments, but then the huge beats kicked in and the crowd started up again. Animal Collective have such an impressive back catalogue behind (and in front) of them, and their live show, lights and all, is so enthralling, that this gig couldn’t have been be anything other than a pure pleasure.

Download: Animal Collective – Chocolate Girl
Download: Animal Collective – Leaf House
Download: Animal Collective – Fireworks


Chocolate Girl
Comfy in Nautica
PeaceboneLeaf House
Daily Routine*
Lion In A Coma*
Song For Ariel*
Brother Sport*


Grass (Feels)

*Denotes a new song. Thanks to the good people of Drowned in Sound for the setlist and other info.

Top photo from Sophie LH's Flickr. Other photos from Jodi Warren's Flickr. I had some myself, but I went and lost my camera SD card like the silly fool I am. But Sophie and Jodi's are much better anyway.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

You Will Love Each Other

HEALTH are a very blog-friendly band. Not just because they produce viscerally exciting records, or play slightly deranged gigs – though that should always be enough to get bloggers excited – but because it seems that not only are they happy to have their stuff promoted through blogs, they’re actually quite grateful to those blogs that have bigged them up. Which explains the ‘thanks’ list on the inside of the CD case of new album HEALTH//DISCO, even including my good self among a list of much more illustrious blogs.

HEALTH//DISCO isn’t a new album as such; it’s actually the fruits of a project (first seen here) which gathered a load of remixes, which are now presented in a full album format. The results are very impressive. Given the low-key process of putting this together, it’s no surprise that there’s a lack of current big name remixers, which is obviously a good thing because it eschews vogueishness in favour of good tunes. It’s an interesting beast all in, because although the original album was abrasive and thrilling, the remix set is much easier on the ears. It’s hardly light listening, but many of the LA band’s rawer edges have been smoothed out and swathed in beats and other effects, giving us an album that’s not just radically different from the original – it’s a whole new listening experience. And a very good one at that.

Since they’ve been nice to me, I’ll happily accept the posting restrictions to this one track. Luckily it’s one of the album’s best.

Download: HEALTH – Triceratops (CFCF mix)

Buy HEALTH//DISCO from Rough Trade.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Gilbert gets Stuffed

Here’s a plug that I’m doing for my colleague Dan who runs the new Stuffed night with his friends at Ravenous Promotions. Their first gig under their new guise is at Ginglik in Shepherd’s Bush on 12 June.

This isn’t just a piece of opportunistic publicity though. It also gives me an opportunity to write a bit about Gilbert, who is the most intriguing of the four artists on the bill. Gilbert – who is both a person and a band – specialises in a delightfully woozy pastoral electronica which is reminiscent of Lemon Jelly in its use of quirky samples, and also less-well know knob-twiddlers like Pilote. The sample-based tunes are fun, but Gilbert’s music is even stronger when veering towards the ambient, more song-based tracks and the Balearic (like Willow, No Time to Talk, Away).

I’ve no idea what it’s going to be like live, but coming through my headphones it sounds damn fine. The myspace indicates that rather than the prospect of a man hunched over a box of wires, you’ll see a band comprising four or five people playing drums and percussion, bass, organs, violins, horns, singing, and speaking. That sounds well worth checking out to me.

In addition to Gilbert, there will also be decent acoustic tunery from Stages of Dan and Tenuto. Should be a good evening.

Download: Gilbert – Self-Help for the English
Download: Tenuto – Doesn't Always Go That Way

Buy Gilbert’s self-tilted debut album from Rough Trade.

Here's the flyer for the evening:

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Bookhouse Boys

One of the definitive sounds of the year may well prove to be ‘big indie’, by which I mean large-numbered bands (say, more than five people) playing big-sounding music. I know that this type of thing can tread a thin line and very easily tip into ‘stadium indie’, which is very bad. But keep on the right side of the line and the results can be very good indeed. On this right side, my highlights of the year so far have been the new Islands album and the output of Broken Records. The fact that both of these bands have yet to make a major impact probably means that I’m barking up the wrong tree, but who knows.

Anyway, here’s another. The Bookhouse Boys are a large band, consisting of nine people, playing widescreen, epic tunes which manage to combine mariachi horns, strings, surf guitar, call-and-response singalongs, and snarling rock vocals and make them all seem like magnificently natural bedfellows. Their name, though not entirely accurate (their ranks include one solitary female), is after the secret society in Twin Peaks. If we’re talking films, I can’t think of a David Lynch movie which their music would be appropriate for, but I am imagining a sort of supercharged Sergio Leone soundtrack. Maybe a bit like a Spaghetti Western starring Steven Seagal. Now that would be quite something.

Download: The Bookhouse Boys – Dead
Download: The Bookhouse Boys – G-Surf

Buy the limited edition 7 inch singles Tonight and Dead here.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Singles going steady 24: David Devant & his Sprit Wife

The next single in the series is by a band which I know very little about. Sure, I’ve searched the internets and read some stuff, and David Devant & his Spirit Wife seem to be still active (at least up till last year), but it was best to ask Mrs Growl. After all, this was her CD which I inherited in the post-marital merging of music collections.

If you’re looking at that band name and you’re thinking along the lines of Victorian vaudevillian freakshow, you’re probably not too far wrong. You may get an idea of that from the photo above, and certainly from the picture of lead singer The Vessel here. And not just in their looks – Mrs Growl informs me that during performances of Ginger onstage when she saw them back in the late 90s, someone would grate a carrot over The Vessel’s head whilst he sang. Hilarious. I guess you had to be there though – Mrs Growl remembers their shows with some fondness and says they were fun. A little eccentricity, without tipping over into outright silliness of course, is always welcome in the all-too-often po-faced world of indie rock.

Anyway, I’m posting about these guys mainly because I like this song, in all its rattling, organ-wheezing cheeriness.

Download: David Devant and his Spirit Wife – Ginger

Esser - live radio session goodness

Another artist who’s been on here lately is Esser. A few weeks ago I raved, quite rightly, about his glitch-pop funbag of a single I Love You. Last week I got to hear what he sounds like doing his stuff live when he played with his band on Marc Riley’s BBC 6Music show. It was all good stuff, though he rocks out a bit more than I expected on Leaving Town, and there's that "she's never satisfied" moan on Satisfied - I'm always a bit suspicious when men come away with this sort of complaint. If she's really that unhappy with you, then you are doing something wrong - just sort it out. Still, ace tune though.

Download: Esser – Leaving Town (live on BBC 6Music)
Download: Esser – I Love You (live on BBC 6Music)
Download: Esser – Satisfied (live on BBC 6Music)

Download Esser’s I Love You single from

If you're uncomfortable with lots of perfectly good food being wasted, don't watch this video.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Rosie Taylor Project - This City Draws Maps

The Rosie Taylor Project have been on here before, just after I first heard them playing live on Xfm and recorded and posted the tracks for the world’s listening pleasure. Since then, I’ve received a copy of their debut album This City Draws Maps from the nice people at Bad Sneakers Records, and I’ve had a listen.

Back then, I recommend The Rosie Taylor Project to anyone who likes their indiepop with a melancholy flavour. I said:

“Think Belle and Sebastian's less upbeat moments with a bit of Tindersticks, a dose of sweet boy/girl vocals, and a dash of beautifully mournful french horn, the latter of which is the thing that really seals it for me. They may proclaim a love for Americana types on their myspace influences, but this band's sound is quite a British one. Downbeat and lovely, it almost seems like it couldn't be made anywhere outside the north of England.”

I repeat this again, mainly because there’s little point coming up with a new description when the previous one does the job nicely. It’s worth doing another post though, because they’re a good band and their album is well worth checking out. There are only eight tracks, but all of them are quite lovely. Here’s one of them.

Download: The Rosie Taylor Project – Black and White Films

Buy This City Draws Maps from the Bad Sneakers shop.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Lest we forget...

Here’s a post I’ve been meaning to do for ages. Actually, if I had been quicker off the mark, it would’ve been three different posts, but my tardiness has given me the opportunity to combine them neatly into a single one. It’s basically an RIP to three giants of music who passed away in the past few months.

Klaus Dinger (1946-2008)

Klaus Dinger was a legend of German music, serving stints in some of that country’s greatest bands. He was in the original line-up of Kraftwerk as the drummer and percussionist for their first album, but left soon after, along with Michael Rother to form Neu! After the three albums by these fathers of Krautrock, where Dinger’s drumming gifted countless journalists the term motorik, he moved on to form La Düsseldorf, perhaps his least-appreciated outfit, but possibly his best. I’ve certainly been enjoying the latter band the most as I’ve been revisiting Dinger’s work lately. That first Kraftwerk album is brilliant, but much easier to admire than love. And though the best of Neu! Is amazing, there is a bit too much experimental pissing about at times. La Düsseldorf keep the motorik drive and combine it with good tunes for a winning combination. It’s a shame that their albums aren’t widely available, so grab a copy of the combined La Dusseldorf/Viva CD if you can!

Download: Kraftwerk – Ruckzuck (from Kraftwerk)
Download: Neu – Hallogallo (from Neu!)
Download: La Düsseldorf – Silver Cloud (from La Düsseldorf)
Download: La Düsseldorf – White Overalls (from Viva)

Joe Gibbs (1943-2008)

This was a such a criminally under-reported passing, so much that I first read about it on The Wirewool a week or so after it happened, and I’ve read precious little else since. Joe Gibbs was a legend of Jamaican music, producing some of that island’s best and best-known music encompassing rocksteady, dub, roots and a whole lot more. As well as producing some of reggae’s most instantly recognisable records (like Culture’s Two Sevens Clash, Althea & Donna’s Uptown Top Ranking) he did a bit of his own stuff as well along with Errol Thompson (as The Mighty Two) and studio house band The Professionals, which included Robbie Shakespeare and Sly Dunbar. In the past couple of decades he’s been less prominent and apparently even owned a chain of Kingston grocery stores (shocking though it may seem, people usually need food more than records), but now with his passing, time is right for a proper appraisal of his genius. If you’re interested (and you really should be) in checking out more, the excellent Soul Jazz compilation Joe Gibbs Productions is a fine place to start.

Download: Culture – Two Sevens Clash
Download: Joe Gibbs and the Professionals – Stonewall Jackson
Download: Althea & Donna – Uptown Top Ranking

Humphrey Lyttelton (1921-2008)

Humphrey Lyttelton is here not so much because of his musical output, but because of his long-standing role as chairman of the BBC Radio 4 comedy ‘antidote to panel games’ I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue. He was always the genial host, and kept listeners constantly amused with just how far he could stretch his pre-watershed double entendres without attracting the censor. That’s how I know and love Humph, though he was also a legend of Bristsh jazz. On hearing of his death, Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood blogged "We were all sorry to hear of Humphrey Lyttelton's death - he was an inspiring person to record with, and without his direction, we'd never have recorded/released Life in a Glasshouse. So go and find Bad Penny Blues, and celebrate his life with some hot jazz…” So I did.

Download: Humphrey Lyttelton & His Band – Bad Penny Blues
Download: Radiohead – Life in a Glasshouse (featuring Humphrey Lyttelton)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Things in Herds

It does seem like extraordinary humility. The blurb on the Things in Herds website announces their new album thus:

"It does feel somehow irresponsible to be adding to the unimaginably huge flood of music in the world today. Still, it's a fairly short album so it shouldn't take up to much room at the party. It's also pretty damn quiet, and should be more than content to hover in the corner and to leave fairly early. Without causing a fuss."

There’s so much right about this. There is an unimaginably huge flood of music around today and much of it is a torrent of garbage, but the people adding the crap to the pile are either unaware of this, or are too busy counting the bags of money to care. At least Things in Herds have a certain self-awareness. They know that theirs is a minor release on a minor label and will never be a top seller. They know that they’re unlikely to be the toast of the party, and that there will be no big fuss made.

But so often, the loudest voices at the party are those of crashing bores – all bluster and no substance. It’s in the corners where the most interesting people are found, who though quiet have so much more to offer. Nothing is Lost is quiet – this is a world of hushed male-female vocals, understated harmonies, gently picked guitar, carefully brushed snares, and lightly touched keys. But therein lies its great strength.

I first heard of this Brighton-based duo on the Fence Records compilation Don’t Fudge With the Fence Made last year (their previous album Everything Has to End Somewhere was released on the Fife label), and my introduction was the gorgeous You Know, which was probably the highlight of a very fine collection of songs. It’s good to see that this song is included on Nothing is Lost along with nine other works of almost impossible beauty. It’s very reminiscent of Fence compatriot James Yorkston, particularly his most recent stripped-down outing Year of the Leopard.

Leaving early is fine, because this is music for after the party. For the wee small hours, the dark corners, for relationships realised and emotions focused, for happiness and sadness. And although these songs are instantly attractive, I’m sure that they’ll stand the test of time. It really is a remarkable album.

Download: Things in Herds – You Know
Download: Things in Herds – Nothing is Lost

Nothing is Lost is out on 2 June. Buy from the Fence website and yer usual download outlets.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Jeremy Warmsley - new single!

I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s worth saying again. Jeremy Warmsley has a new single coming out soon. It’s a precursor to his forthcoming second album out on Transgressive later this year, but crucially, neither track on the single features on the album. So although that alone is a reason to get it, the main reason is because it’s great. The double A-side features The Boat Song, which was co-written with Emmy the Great who naturally also sings on the track, as well as a cover of New Order’s Temptation, the excellence of which actually lies in is faithfulness to the original, rather than any fancy re-interpretation.

Both of these songs will of course be familiar to anyone who's been following Jeremy and Fay Buzzard's Welcome to our TV Show, but you can check out the studio recordings on this post – The Boat Song is present in the shape of its video and Temptation in the shape of the radio edit. Nobody really likes radio edits, so hopefully this is an encouragement to buy the 7 inch when it comes out on 2 June.

Download: Jeremy Warmsley – Temptation (Radio Edit)

Pre-order the single from Transgressive.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

JIM, not Jamiroquai

The arrival a few months ago of A Little Bit of Feel Good, Jamie Lidell’s calling card for new album JIM had some people reaching for the dreaded J-word. It seems that if a white man plays soul and funk, he’s a charlatan, peddling weak jazz-funk, just like the man in the silly hat. But come on. Saying that JIM is like Jamiroquai is as daft and wrong-headed as saying that because Arcade Fire play big anthemic rock, they sound just like Coldplay. Have a closer look at the snipers and you’ll probably find that they’re people who rarely stray away from indie rock, and who have little knowledge of funk and soul.

However, although it won’t be Jay Kay's name on your mind as you listen to JIM, there will be other famous names there. Jamie’s mining some rich influences and you’ll be reminded of Otis (Wait for Me), Stevie (A Little Bit of Feel Good and particularly the synth-funk of Figured Me Out) and Marvin (All I Wanna Do) as well as doses of both Motown and Southern Soul. There’s nothing here that will remind you of his earlier work with Super_Collider, and not even the edge that his previous retro-soul album Multiply had, but I’m really not complaining - this sort of thing is right up my street.

You may legitimately complain about the weakness of Lidell’s lyrics, that he’s too in thrall to the past, and you might even get away with calling JIM a pastiche, but what the heck, when the music’s this good, it would be nuts to complain too much. And if the indie bores still can't stand it, just use it as an excuse to check out some of his influences. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Download: Jamie Lidell – Wait for Me
Download: Jamie Lidell – Figured Me Out

Buy JIM from Rough Trade, or download from

Yet another Wave Pictures post

Here’s yet another post on The Wave Pictures. It’s needed for three main reasons:

1. I was on Blog Fresh Radio last week, talking ineloquently about the band. You can hear it here (I’m 16.20 minutes in) including a play of You Love Me Like a Madman. In the interview, Bill from Blog Fresh managed a comparison that I’d been struggling to get to describe WP. The Smiths meets Hefner, he said. That’ll do nicely I thought.

2. Their new album Instant Coffee Baby is out now. You should get it. It’s a wonderful collection of songs, some of them culled from their many previous CDR releases (which you can still get from their website). However, re-recording them is probably more to do with the ability of getting wider distribution from a bigger indie label, than the desire to make more polished recordings. That much is clear from the fact that the recording (done in the studio at the Duke of Uke ukulele shop off Brick Lane) still has that classic Wave Pictures rough-edged live sound. I’m pleased to say that there’s nothing polished here – just David Tatersall’s idiosyncratic voice, amusing, wry and plain silly lyrics and tremendous guitar playing, backed up by Franic Rozycki and Johnny Helm’s wobbly but immensely pleasurable rhythm section. It’s already a strong contender for my top 10 of 2008.

3. The Wave Pictures are a brilliant band who everyone should know about. I don’t need an excuse to keep posting about them, so I will.

Download: The Wave Pictures – I Love You Like a Madman
Download: The Wave Pictures – We Come Alive

Buy Instant Coffee Baby from Rough Trade or download from emusic.

Here's a bonus for all you poor people who don't have a record player - the b-side of previous single I Love You Like a Madman, which is as good, if not better, than anything on the album.

Download: The Wave Pictures - Holding Hands

Oh, and there was a Wave Pictures interview this week in Drowned in Sound too.

I'm (back) from Barcelona

I've been away in Barcelona with work, hence lack of updates this week. Nice work if you can get it, but unfortunately I didn't get to see very much of the city. I almost went to see Blood Red Shoes on Tuesday night, but in the end decided I don't like them that much. Still, appetite well and truly whetted for a return visit. Even better if it could co-incide with one of the city's excellent music festivals. If my trip was just three weeks later, it would have co-incided with what's probably the best festival line-up of the year. Sonar and Summercase look pretty neat too (though the latter is a little bit too Reading for my liking).

Here's the tenuous, cheap and easy mp3 link.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Singles going steady 23: Dinosaur Jr

In which J Mascis reaches inside to bring out the inner Brian Wilson. He succeeds brilliantly. Why doesn't he do this more often?

Download: Dinosaur Jr - Take a Run at the Sun

Check out previous Singles going steady.

Friday, May 09, 2008

All is full of gold

Wherever you read about Santogold first, it certainly won’t have been at this blog. If you’re at all interested in Santi White, you won’t need me to tell you that she’s from Brooklyn, that she’s toured with the likes of the Beastie Boys and MIA, and that she’s currently the toast of the internets. You’ll have read that on much cooler blogs last year. You also won’t need me to tell you about hot 12 inch releases andher work with Spank Rock, Switch and Sinden and Mark Ronson. And now that her self-titled debut album’s about to come out, you wont need to hear from me that it’s a pleasingly vibrant smorgasbord of styles, encompassing indie post-punk (L.E.S. Artistes, You’ll Find a Way ), dubby rock (Shove It, My Superman), straight up pop (Say Aha, Lights Out) and songs that sound just like MIA (Creator, Unstoppable) – all held together by Santi’s fine voice. You also don’t need me to post these tracks from the album, because you’ve got them already. But what the hell – it’s a great album and I post about things I like. Even if I’m not at the vanguard of popular culture. Bear with me, all you cool, cool people.

Download: Santogold - Say Aha
Download: Santogold – My Superman

Pre-order Santogold from Rough Trade.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Noah and the Whale live radio sessions

My first inkling of Noah and the Whale occurred back at the End of the Road Festival in 2006. Emmy the Great announced herself and backing band – consisting of Jeremy Warmsley and Charlie Fink – as ‘Emmy and the Whale’. This was the first time I set eyes on Charlie, and a fine sight he was, as he picked at an amusing furry bass. The next time I saw him was a month or so later at what must have been one of the first Noah and the Whale performances (he had previously gone under the name Johnny Hatracket!) at an Emmy-curated show at the Luminaire. First impressions were very good. Simple, catchy folk-pop tunes.

Fast-forward another few months and Noah and the Whale and Emmy the Great’s band were one and the same entity, with Emmy taking centre stage for her songs, and Charlie stepping up to the mic for Noah and the Whale tunes. An interesting combination for sure, and one that underlined these artists’ inter-dependency and musical similarities.

But what a difference a year (and a bit) makes. Although that same-band-different-act set up seemed pretty unsustainable to me, it turns out (rumours, rumours) that the parting of the ways between Emmy and Noah wasn’t so amicable. Who knows what’s happened, but it’s a shame if two of London’s premier folk-pop exponents are not on speaking terms. Anyway, for the purposes of this post, in the months since I last saw NATW in January 2007, their star has risen slowly but surely. They’ve established a line-up (which sometimes includes Laura Marling) played a lot of gigs around London and the rest of the country, and landed a major record deal, with an album on the way.

All the best to them. I really hope that they don’t become another forgotten indie band on Universal’s books – they’re too good for that. One thing that the deal does seem to have brought about is a more highly-polished sound. Listen to their new single Shape of my Heart and you’ll hear a fine tune, but something that’s much more pop than folk. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing. Bands change, sounds evolve, and often this is for the better. I’ll be watching out for Charlie and co – they could be really great as long as they keep their feet on the ground.

This post is really just a long-winded reason to post some radio session tracks I recorded back in January, which Noah and the Whale recorded for both Marc Riley’s BBC 6Music show and John Kennedy’s Xposure on Xfm, including two versions of the same track. Spot the difference!

Download: Noah and the Whale – 2 Bodies 1 Heart (live on BBC 6Music)
Download: Noah and the Whale – If I Die Tonight (live on BBC 6Music)
Download: Noah and the Whale – Jocasta (live on BBC 6Music)
Download: Noah and the Whale – Peaceful (live on BBC 6Music)
Download: Noah and the Whale – Peaceful (live on Xfm)

Buy Shape of my Heart from Rough Trade.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Singles going steady 22: Tanya Donelly

Tanya Donelly seems to have been a bit quiet of late. That's maybe because she has. Her last studio album was in 2004, with only the live album This Hungry Life since then. But it's understandable - as someone with a small child, I can understand the lack of activity on the music front. Sometimes there are other, more important things to deal with. In fact, Donelly must be really enoying the whole kids thing, because according to a post on her messageboard from about a month ago, she reveals that she's training to be a birth doula. But those fans eagerly awaiting new material, fear not because she also reveals that she and Dean (her husband) have started writing again, and there's the tentative suggestion that some of the fruits of this might be seeing the light later this year.

Anyway, back to the point of this post. The only CD single in my collection under Tanya's own name (as opposed to stuff she's been involved in with Throwing Muses, Belly and The Breeders) is the Sleepwalk EP from 2001. I seem to remember being a little obsessed with this EP at the time, but revisiting it now doesn't meet with quite the same levels of swooning from me. It's still a lovely four-track collection though. Lead track The Storm made in onto the Beatysleep album, but I'm posting two others which I like better - After Your Party, a gorgeous, sad acoustic tale of thwarted dreams and the breezy country-pop of Days of Grace. Somehow despite my love for this EP, I never parted with cash for any more Donelly solo stuff. Not sure why. Maybe this was enough to keep me happy.

Download: Tanya Donelly - After Your Party
Download: Tanya Donelly - Days of Grace

Download the other EP tracks from emusic.