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Outsideleft Week in Music We're hearing from The Delines, Jonny Greenwood, Self Esteem, The Waterboys, The War on Drugs, Emeli Sande with Jaykae, Maz O'Connor, Naomi Alligator, Red Fang, Little Simz, Bonobo, Jamila Woods, CMAT and Ari Lennox

Outsideleft Week in Music

We're hearing from The Delines, Jonny Greenwood, Self Esteem, The Waterboys, The War on Drugs, Emeli Sande with Jaykae, Maz O'Connor, Naomi Alligator, Red Fang, Little Simz, Bonobo, Jamila Woods, CMAT and Ari Lennox

by Lee Paul,
first published: October, 2021

approximate reading time: minutes

Little Earl's brother is bleeding heavily in the backseat of a car they shouldn't be in


THE DELINES - Little Earl (Decor Records)
by Ancient Champion

The Delines are back with a beautifully orchestrated new single, Little Earl. A taster for their February LP, The Sea Drift. See a full review of the new single with quotes from Willy Vlautin, here.


JONNY GREENWOOD - West (Invada Records UK/ Lakesure Records)
by Tim London

Occasionally. over the years, a title track for a TV show or a film has been released as a single. Indeed, there was a time when compilation albums featuring the themes from Bergerac and Are You Being Served would feature alongside some other classics and make an appearance in the charts. I can’t, to be honest, imagine this maudlin-by-numbers snippet being on an actual vinyl single. The other release (25 Years - the B side?) from the same Netflix modern cowboy thing, (featuring persistent posho Benedict Cumberbatch), has a little more verve, especially the first minute or so of repetitive cello riffing but also disappears into the ether like a fragrant fart.

MAZ O'CONNOR - Jessica (Restless Head)
by Jay Lewis

Maz O'Connor new single get a review from Jay Lewis, read it here

THE WATERBOYS - A Pagan Place/Reels Live c/w How Long Will I Love You (2021) (Chrysalis)
by Katherine Pargeter

Recorded live in 1989 in Toronto on the Fisherman's Blues/Room to Roam tour. They were the greatest live band I'd ever seen at the time and, after their remarkable performance in Moseley this summer, I can attest that they still are. 

NAOMI ALLIGATOR - Concession Stand Girl (Car Park)
by Toon Traveller

Concession Stand Girl is one of the strangest songs... The rawness and simplicity a delight, the banjo, is it not really my sound, but there's something lovely, innocent, honest and intimate in the words and the playing. There's fun irony, and reflections on life, not so much a story, but lines from a diary capturing the spirit of life and it's experiences, randomised or connected, events and hopes, fears and apprehensions, the kind of thing all smalltown boys have felt. I was reminded of the UK band The Unthanks and if they're an influence, then you're on a good path to a good place. 

RED FANG - Rabbits In Hives (Relapse Records Inc.)
by Tim London

Comedy! The visualiser is American funny for the first 2 minutes. Netflix series funny. Then a fast/slow metally tune kicks in, a man sings, wrenching the words as if politely hawking up flem. And it finishes mercifully quickly. I wonder if the energy used for the track could have been better applied to making the whole clip a music-less comedy taster that could have got the band a four series, fifteen episode deal that I could have watched for the first three series, before it went all stale and self-referential. I wonder.

LITTLE SIMZ - I Love You, I Hate You (Age 101 Music)
by Tim London

Over in the retro orchestral soul corner, Simz is feeling delicate. If her delivery is a little flat, as if she’s told this story a few too many times to too many friends, the backing track hits all the sweet early 1970s notes and sounds very much like a collection of samples from must-have tracks. This offsets the matter of fact flow and creates a tension and a dilemma: concentrate on whatever important items Simz is listing or dive into the gorgeous music. I did the latter. (Are they samples? I don’t recognise anything and couldn’t find anything definitive online and it doesn’t matter.)

CMAT - No More Virgos (CMATBABY )
by Tim London

This is modern pop. Beginning with a German one note synth plod the track develops into a sad-noted countrified yearn of a song, with Kate Bush doing backing vocals and CMAT’s Ciara’s voice a trembling blend of Chrissie Hynde at her most post-party delicate and a more noughties generation daughter waking up at 2PM to consider the depressive day. Lovely.

BONOBO, JAMILA WOODS - Tides (Ninja Tune)
by Ancient Champion

Bonobo's super laid back layers of non-conformity are enhanced to perfection by Jamila Woods' so far away voice. Something and nothing. It's all together beautiful of course. Direction of the day changing delight. 

EMELI SANDE WITH JAYKAE - Look What You've Done (Chrysalis)
by Tim London

There’s something about most rap… takes away the mystery, removes the listener's agency, your own story which you align with a song. As a piece of theatre, this track is sublime: we enter into the thoughts of a broken hearted woman, we swim with her on her tide of sadness. It’s beautiful, whether or not we are also broken hearted women, we are there, with her. Then her boyfriend turns up. And it’s all about him. He says he’s sorry but he sounds angry. It’s Corry. Emmerdale. Actors on a set, shouting in a fake street. I was in a special, soft place there, for a minute and a half and then transported to a pre-club pub, senses ripped. Great theatre, great telly. But I would rather just have stayed in that special place for the whole 3 minutes.


ARI LENNOX - Yuengling - Instrumental (Dreamville)
by Ancient Champion

From the Pho EP, an instrumental version of Yuengling - the vocal version has been streamed Xmillion times. So cool and understated here. Why can't instrumentals be hits. This is a mellow love.


THE WAR ON DRUGS - I Don't Live Here Anymore (Atlantic Records)
by Spanish Pantalones

I remember enjoying The War On Drugs ten or so years ago, a lot. Those were good years for them; their music sounded fresh and experimental. They had a unique vision and they seemed to be moving forward. Now with I Don’t Live Here Anymore, it sounds like they want to fill the vacant Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers-meets-Bruce Hornsby space. “Change” sounds like something Petty wrote in ‘85. Disappointing.

SELF ESTEEM - Prioritise Pleasure (Fiction)
by Jay Lewis

Jay believes that Rebecca Lucy Taylor's second album as Seft Esteem may be one of the highlights of the year. Read his review here

Main Image by Summer Luu: Amy Boone from The Delines

Lee Paul

I like to look at things while listening to things I am not looking at. But doesn't everyone.
about Lee Paul »»



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