Outsideleft's weekly round trip to the sonic stables... make music and they'll come...
When Katherine Priddy released ‘Wolf’ – her debut EP in 2018, the great Richard Thompson described it as the best thing that he had heard that year. As Thompson had worked with two of the greatest folk/rock singer songwriters (Sandy Denny and his former wife Linda), I think he knows a thing or two about magnificent voices and lyricists.
As with both Sandy and Linda, Katherine Priddy has that rare vocal talent of sounding timeless yet contemporary. Her voice is pure, her tales are sincere and, when mixed with her sensitive guitar playing, has the ability to stop you in your tracks. ‘Indigo’ begins with the sound of bird song and recalls the sound of blackbirds she heard at both ends of the day as a child.
People who claim to know more about the meanings of colours than I do, will claim that Indigo is related intuition, perception, introspection and meditation. It’s worth pondering that whilst listening to this remarkable artist. -- Jason Lewis
RICHARD X HEYMAN
Choices We Make
(Turn Up Records)
Richard X Heyman provides a lovely pop intro on the opening single from the forthcoming LP Copious Notes. Then Choices We Make trundles, and that is the word, inoffensive, slightly self satisfied, dripping optimism and hope that comes from a home in the 'burbs, a netflix subscription, 2 cars on the drive, and memories of rebellion seeing pearl jam or nirvana, fond memories, over a glass of chilled white, Yeah a rock record for the mid 30's married, two income households --Toon Traveler
Gracey Babs gets woken by the strange and marvelous Lost Girls. Full review here. --Gracey Babs
From the forthcoming LP Vibes, out in June. Dark brooding, metal, industrial vibe, think Depeche Mode, meets German 80s synths. Oh dear… Rapidly degenerates into standard pop female voice, rises and falls in tempo just leave me confused, sounds like a cut and paste job, or one of those bands where they try to accommodate - "musical differences". These sort of things can only end badly for bands, splits, differences, solo albums, overall a bit directionless, some good ideas, but just not connected, and no sense of direction, sort like a dip in sample album tracks, some good ideas, bit not sure who'll win the battle for direction and ideas. --Toon Traveler
Big Bang Bomb Site (Roaming Soundtrack)
The iconic night-time photograph that accompanies this single shows the ruins of the 14th Grosnez Castle in Jersey. It’s one of the locations on the island selected for Arthouse Jersey’s latest ‘Roaming Soundtrack’ project. The main gist of which is to get islanders to visit historic sites, take and share photographs, listen to music that has been inspired by the place and, hopefully, find something new and invigorating from the experience.
Sam Lee, the ever-enthusiastic folk singer, writer and nature loving activist was selected by curator Rob Da Bank to soundtrack the ethereal Grosnez. The result is a slow, meditative piece where Lee’s lyrics (‘…where the break in the skin, let’s the poetry pour in), may be pure stream of consciousness, evocative and emanating from somewhere deep inside. The dampened piano sounds are a perfectly atmospheric accompaniment. It is now a place that I am eager to visit. -- Jason Lewis
THE BLACK KEYS
(Easy Eye Sound)
For all their faults - ask any indie rock devotee of the past decade for an itemized list - the Black Keys can still rock it when they want to. This John Lee Hooker cover is the first wing from the smoker that is Delta Kream, their drag through Mississippi boogie blues appearing May 14. --Alex V. Cook
The latest EP from Museumgoer features Narcoleptic Taxi's, Trees, a Mudlark Crisis, Flying Cars and a General Lament. Museumgoer 16 has all this and more. And we have the actual Museumgoer walking us through the EP, right here --Lee Paul
Small Black Cheap Dreams LP is out now. I dropeed the needle into the groove and this sounds a little like the synth rock of the 80s, is it a drum machine? Someone knows I guess. The voice match's the music slightly other worldly, slightly sad, and reflective, and reminded me of Ultravox, Orchestral Manoeuvres, Japan on a stadia rock day, not unpleasant, but I'd have reservations about going with a gig buddy, it rolls but hardly rocks, it's sorta justa kinda, like a, there. --Toon Traveler
Convocations parts 1 and 2
Sufjan Stevens, the official ambassador of the Feelings of Sufjan Stevens and By Extension, Us All, has issued, at the time of this writing, two albums out of five comprising the bedroom synth requiem mass Convocations, written partly for the death of his biological father and for the enduring tragedy of the times. Ten Meditations lead to ten Lamentations so far, each a miniature spell cast in the still air, blocks of a terrifyingly huge whole. Unlike his attempts to explain simple things,like the United States of America or Christmas, here he tackles the complex subject of grief with wordless, undulating grace. He delivers us all the way through Incantations on May 6. --Alex V. Cook
THE REDS, PINKS AND PURPLES
Makes you want to smoke a cigarette on a bridge. That’s a good thing. See the full review here --Alex V. Cook
(Very Nice Records)
Dayglow is 21 year-old Sloan Struble, whose previous album contained the hit single “Can I Call You Tonight?”, winning him an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Dayglow isn’t even his first band, previously recording under the moniker Kindred at an age when I was still collecting conkers. New album Harmony House in its appearance and outlook is unashamedly suburban, inspired by cosy sitcoms such as Cheers and the pastel peach of the 80s. It’s an album designed to accompany you as we wander towards summer, asking us to embrace change but also accept that “every year has a December”. The opening “Something” with its video encapsulates the colour scheme, reminds me of Gotye, and displays more than a passing nod to David Byrne in Sloan’s dancing and his lyrical approach to the chaos of modern life. Previous single “Close to You” is cheesy pop, yes, but look at the deliberately nerdy dancing and cheerfulness in the video, and its subtle-not-subtle mirroring of Take On Me’s visuals. You will feel good watching this, Sloan is saying, even if you are not sure why. Mock his dancing or dig his vibe, as long as you enjoy it. “Woah Man” takes a standard but well-designed power-pop hook and marries this to Dry Your Eyes style lyrics about letting go. How much of this positivity you can take depends on how much you enjoy 80s cheese delivered by a man who looks and sounds like an MGMT, but an MGMT who would invite you to the local church service rather than to a magic mushroom party.
-- John Robinson
Too Late to Die Young
Sonder isn't doing it much for Gracey Babs but raising hackles and heckles on this new extended video collection thing... Full review, Bitch! Bitch! Bitch! is here --Gracey Babs
(Warner - american tv debut 1992)
The wagon - is it live on letterman (no real idea on US chat shows).... Hmm its, 7-30, it's sunny outside, it's frosty in toon, had melon and grapes for breakfast and then this very intense start to the day from Youtube. But that said love the pounding beat, the constant sense of passion and drive, yeah a great wake sound bit not one to play loud and piss off the neighbors. BUT absolutely love the middle eight and bridge straight outta Neil Young in his Glitterball, phase, sounds like J. Mascis is literally torturing the guitar, if there were a Royal Society for the Protection of Electric Guitars (RSPEG) they'd prosecute, if the Smithsonian threw open their doors, J. MAscis would be on display there. Pity there's no gigs (that I can find near me ) in the North East, but it's a great slice of hard driving, powered up, guitar led rock. --Toon Traveler
Main Image: Katherine Priddy screengrab. We like that grain...
Jay Lewis is a Birmingham based music, movie and arts obsessive. Jay's encyclopedic knowledge of 80s/90s Arts films is a debt to his embedded status in the Triangle Arts Centre trenches back then.
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