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Outsideleft Week in Music starring Big Thief We're hearing from Big Thief, Pusha T, Kae Tempest, Half Man Half Biscuit, Coldplay X Selena Gomez, Ed Schrader, Dog Unit, Audrey Nuna, death insurance, Catcher, Maria Sanchez, Simon Grab & Francesco Giudici and Pershagen

Outsideleft Week in Music starring Big Thief

We're hearing from Big Thief, Pusha T, Kae Tempest, Half Man Half Biscuit, Coldplay X Selena Gomez, Ed Schrader, Dog Unit, Audrey Nuna, death insurance, Catcher, Maria Sanchez, Simon Grab & Francesco Giudici and Pershagen

by LamontPaul, Founder & Publisher
first published: February, 2022
Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You, fifth LP is the charm, just like the previous 4...

RECORDING OF THE WEEK

BIG THIEF - Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You (4AD) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite
by LamontPaul

Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You is the fifth LP from Big Thief and will almost certainly spoil the secret we've been keeping with millions of others about Ardienne, Buck and the gang for the past seven years. I can hear people asking me know whether I've heard this new Big Thief band... Full Review Here


SINGLES

PUSHA T - Diet Coke (Def Jam)
by Tim London

‘The crack era was such a Black era’. Sometimes a rap nails a mood and a story as tight as a James Elroy chapter. Pusha T here runs deep irony, dark humour and real life crime over a weirdly thin beat which avoids trap cliches, harks back to another era but is still, somehow, ultra-modern. Smart.


KAE TEMPEST - Salt Coast (American Recordings)
by Tim London

Kicking off with a sample of the single-note, Marvin Gaye piano strike from What’s Going On (probably) that then morphs and bends into something ominous, and then, for a change, a beat that makes the most of Kae’s producer’s obvious love of 1980’s synth sequence patterns. If there’s something lovable about Kae (the way they try a ghost rhyme with ‘pizza’ and ‘I know what you reach for’), always on the side of the housing association teens, escaped family grief to tiny one bedroom, jerry-built sanctuaries, there’s also something steely in the way Kae sticks by their stories. Sometimes I don’t believe Kae. This time, I do. Quite beautiful.


MARIA SANCHEZ - Hey Love (My Grito Industries / Soul Tune Records) favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_borderfavorite_border
by LamontPaul

From Riverside, California, Maria Sanchez preps a new 45 and previews it on streaming sites for the record player free. We are suckers for this kind of updated vintage soul. I know people who might suggest it is the sound of ghost modernism. Maria's connected to some of our favorite labels, Big Crown and Stockholm's Soul Tune records too, and is influenced by the likes of Kali Uchis and the purely sensational Brenton Wood. In reverse. The Hey Love is the bitter side a breaking up record. Great driving music if you don't want to go too fast.


ED SCHRADER - Echo Base (Carpark) favoritefavoritefavorite_borderfavorite_borderfavorite_border
by Toon Traveller

Love hearts hard to award - it's not music I love. This starts like a real old PC powering up, disk spinning, fan blowing, morphs into early goth rock, reminds me of The Cure, never really got the depressing look never really listened to the bands or saw them live, and listienng to this "REBOOT"  (that seems to the in phrase to describe a tribute / revival. I hear The Cult, I hear Fields of Nephilim.   
 
Love the jangling guitars, but the rest passes me by. Make no mistake, it's well played, it's got great real sentiment, and it will appeal  to the flowers, but I suspect this will not win any new converts to Goth Rock, and it's subsets, there's the swirls of sound, racing clouds and that summarizes the whole Goth Rock ethos.


CATCHER - Behind a Bleeding Heart (Catcher) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite
by Jay Lewis

The PR for Catcher is keen to point out how their visceral live shows have similarities with those of The Birthday Party, Sonic Youth, and The Fall.  So far, so audacious, so many neatly placed post-punk reference points.

All you really need to know is that, from the relentless drumming intro to the multiple guitar pile up at the end, Behind a Bleeding Heart is dark, marvelous, hellish mayhem.  Those shrieking guitars are so very early My Bloody Valentine and the perfect setting for Austin Eichler's anxious-possessed drawl.  Utterly captivating,  maybe their PR may be on to something.

The debut album ‘The Fat Of A Broken Heart’ is released on February 18


HALF MAN HALF BISCUIT - Rogation Sunday's Here Again (RM Qualtrough) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Katherine Pargeter

In the recent TV game show 'How To Create a Yard Act' contestants had to pick and choose from a range of quirky indie/post-punk/punk band styles and motifs to see if they could piece together something that vaguely resembled the chart-topping band from Leeds.

Most correctly chose to include the Fall-esque bass lines, but others got into a bit of a mess when opting to include a vocalist that was similar to that of Black Country Dry Cleaning. Furthermore, points were frequently deducted every time the word 'Sprechgesang' was mispronounced.

In the final episode of the series Ant, Dec, Dermot and that bloke from The Masked Singer stood backstage with Nigel from Half Man Half Biscuit to give a commentary of the proceedings:

"Hey Nigel, no one's chosen to include any references to your ascerbic wit, surreal laughaloud observations, social commentary yet have they ...?"

Clearly bored to his boots, Nigel just mumbles 'No'

"...and that's obviously something that Yard Act have been, how shall we put this politely,...erm, inspired by..."

"S'pose, well yeah and The Sleaford Mods, but they said they'd nicked stuff from us, so..."

(long silence)

"So Nigel, it's probably time that you tought these young'uns a thing or two and performed your new single, what's it called...?"

(pause)

"Nigel...?"

"Oh, yeah, sorry, it's called 'Rogation Sunday's Here Again' and err (distractedly, sounding like he'd rather be anywhere else), it's from our album 'The Voltarol Years'...

"Go knock 'em dead, Nigel..."


PERSHAGEN - Solen ar en Trumma (Lovely) favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_borderfavorite_border
by Toon Traveller

Seemingly named after a small suburb in Stockholm, this Swedish band is a lovely riposte to much the thrash / death metal that seems to emanate from Up North(-ern Europe). There's melody here, far away in the mix, and a looping guitar weaving through the sawing back line of the music, hypnotic and rhythmic, not in a dance sense, but a trees in summer wind sense. Pershagen reminds me of another great Scandinavian guitar player, Terje Rydal, for an aural delight check out "After the Rain" on ECM, records  (ice cold modern jazz) sounds for a  spring day. BUT this a funky slice of improv delight, sure there's an echo of Steve Hillage, and hints of Gong in their "commercial period", but the tender evocations of a calm day make this a great listen


DOG UNIT - Turn Right and Right again (Brace Yourself) favoritefavoritefavorite_borderfavorite_borderfavorite_border
by Toon Traveller

Dog Unit get going with some pleasant guitar picking and rolls along for 30 seconds. Then drums kick in and their reinforcement raises the tempo, and the single is changed from a melodic interlude into a plodding rocker, there's great playing and ideas, but this does not do the band justice, if they can write these tunes, they must must have some great lyrics in their heads, it feels like music in search of a song.


COLDPLAY X SELENA GOMEZ - Let Somebody Go (Parlophone) ZERO favorite_borders
by Tim London

The first frame of this video… is the review.


AUDREY NUNA - A Liquid Breakfast (Arista) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Toon Traveller

From the forthcoming deluxe remix LP, which means nothing to me because I refuse to read all that. Off with the distractions, on with the great music. A very different take on the usual California Rock, or the twee female voices that permeate so many of the songs falling into the in box and review lists. A Liquid Breakfast is very different, very unique, very light and very entertaining. There's the soundcloud, love the cut up stop start stop almost like a skipping record, remember those frustrations, the distant rata-tata -tat the sound is disturbing, and invigorating, slowly muting into the several songs at once. Love the use of "Klangers" whistles and the not quite complete, not all there, fractures. But those spaces in the song are where you add, it's  so much the listeners song and all the better for it.


DEATH INSURANCE - ifeelgr8 (A2B2 Records)
by Tim London

From Death Grips’ Andy Morin’s new label, here’s a track that only really works with the video, which, if you watch close up might make you question your need for drugs. Also… best name for a group this week.


EPs

SIMON GRAB & FRANCESCO GIUDICI - No Surrender (-OUS) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite
by Toon Traveller

What to say on this piece from Simon Grab & Francesco Giudici? No Surrender requires concentration. Its challenging minimalist sensibilities can appear boring, and uneventful, but stay with it. The rewards are in the the slow build and enveloping sense of mystery. This is full of dark spaces, and suspense, undefined threats, shadows, hints of light. This has the indefinable sense of the carefree disregard for music's traditions, (real rebellion music as opposed to the rasping strangled vocals that pass a traditional ranting rage).  
 
Looking at a lot of the reviews I suspect getting most readers to listen, really listen will be a hard hard sell, but it's a magnificent slab of post-Germanic, post-industrial, industrial electronica, post pandemic, pre-environmental apocalypse, electronica. The sound will disturb as they should, this is serious music for critical issues. And no you probably won't whistle the melody later.
 
There's a slow build through buzz, fizz and fuzz, it sparks and sizzles as it moves through the left behind places, factories, places, people, lives. This is not a happy slice of the 2020's but a wedge of fear and suffering. This the only music left in a world that rap, hard core, and thrash metal have died in the freezing social waste land this music invokes. This is pain and suffering, waste and decline, for the UK, for music, for places left behind, by the places left behind. For the states, it's the S/T to the Rust belt abandoned, it is the slow death of hope, and the cold reality of a coming collapse that's haunts us all. It is the sums of fears.
 
That said, the last moments of calm are something of a restoration a resurgence of nature, delicate flutter of wings, hinting at a survival of sorts, offering the hope that makes the pain worthwhile, suggesting there is redemption after all. Five hearts but they are not love happy hearts, but the hearts heavy with despair and regret. 


Essential Info
Main Image, artwork Big Thief - Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You 

LamontPaul
Founder & Publisher

Publisher, Lamontpaul founded outsideleft with Alarcon in 2004 and is hanging on, saying, "I don't know how to stop this, exactly."

Lamontpaul portrait by John Kilduff painted during an episode of John's TV Show, Let's Paint TV


about LamontPaul »»

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