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Outsideleft Week in Music featuring Hollie Cook We're hearing from A1 X J1, Megadeth, Superorganism, Hollie Cook, Taylor Swift, Charlie Puth, Oscar Lang & Wallice, Tommy Ashby, El Michels Affair, Pale Waves, The Big Pink and The Movers

Outsideleft Week in Music featuring Hollie Cook

We're hearing from A1 X J1, Megadeth, Superorganism, Hollie Cook, Taylor Swift, Charlie Puth, Oscar Lang & Wallice, Tommy Ashby, El Michels Affair, Pale Waves, The Big Pink and The Movers

by Tim London,
first published: July, 2022

approximate reading time: minutes

Don't just listen to this album though; listen to all of them.... Alarcon on Holly Cook


A1 X J1 - Deal Or No Deal feat Mabel (EMI) favoritefavorite_borderfavorite_borderfavorite_borderfavorite_border
by Tim London

Whoever it is hires out the wedding venue used in so many videos featuring young R&B and Grime artists rapping/singing about money and sex and waving their hands about must be raking it in. I’m looking forward to A2 and J2, the little bros who, I am told, are more into folk music from Pembrokeshire, releasing their first promotional vid set in a bothy on a hill somewhere, featuring Maddy Prior. It will be better than this.

Three Bullring On A Saturday points.

CHARLIE PUTH - Left And Right (feat. Jung Kook of BTS) (Atlantic) favoritefavorite_borderfavorite_borderfavorite_borderfavorite_border
by Tim London

Googling Master Puth (no, I don’t know how to pronounce it) disturbingly brings up ‘What disease does Charlie Puth have?’ right at the top, underneath his videos. Worried about saying something snarky about someone suffering with something awful I checked the answer and can happily say, no, it’s not making asinine pop that you wouldn’t even bounce a baby to and, no, he’s not come down with a heavy dose of marketthisfuckeruntilhegetsintofilm-itis. It’s Covid. He got Covid. But he’s OK. he’s got Covid and he’s still managing to pollute the air with his godawful whine. So, no need to worry.

Five Bullring On A Saturday points.

TAYLOR SWIFT - Carolina (UMG) favoritefavoritefavorite_borderfavorite_borderfavorite_border
by Tim London

Rhyming ‘birds’ with ‘whispers’… I admit, I’ve never understood Swift’s popularity, beyond that she seems to represent the uber-woman of male, white supremacist’s fantasies and her pretty, pointy face seems to be some kind of ideal for many women, too freaked out by Beyonce. Swift’s attempts at rebranding herself as an ‘authentic’ artist as opposed to the pop-via-country starlet that was probably crafted by an extensive team of music biz cynics doesn’t really break any moulds. The production and arrangements are careful and her voice remains a super-stylised, zit-free affair, even when attempting to make something a little more biscuits and gravy, folky roots. Still anodyne, still ridiculously popular.

Three Bullring On A Saturday points.

TOMMY ASHBY - Closer (Dance to the Radio Records) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Lee Paul

Just as I was limbering up for a bit of Alan Sillitoe Angry Young Man fun - the dowdy shirt, the off-brand plimsouls, the slack jawed serious expression... Tommy Ashby holds it down while sprinting through a piece imbued with pitch perfect melancholy. What if there were the only two people left in the world? No, not him and his approved school Kommandant, I don't think. That's not the premise. Closer is all understated and as lovely as that hell of two people left alone on the planet would be. Closer haunts since it cannot not do. 

SUPERORGANISM - Into The Sun ft. Gen Hoshino, Stephen Malkmus & Pi Ja Ma (Domino) favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_borderfavorite_border
by Tim London

If you still have breath after saying the title and featured artists out loud you might want to wonder out loud about the influence of fizzy drink adverts on a certain kind of Miu Miu type of hiphop/R&B influenced kooky pop that this writer has enjoyed in the past. Or maybe it’s fizzy drink, itself. I don’t know cos I like what’s left of my teeth. Does fizzy drink make you sound hopelessly optimistic whilst feeling hopeless? Lemme know.

THE BIG PINK - Love Spins On Its Axis (UMG) favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_borderfavorite_border
by Tim London

Confusingly named after a The Band album whilst sounding like The Mighty Wah!. It’s the kind of tune that would once have featured Britain’s only proper gospelly backing singers who used to get a lot of work back in the day. Now, of course, they come ten a penny so I’m disappointed at the lack of thar she blows on this epic-ky BBCR2 anthem.

PALE WAVES - Jealousy (Dirty Hit) favoritefavoritefavorite_borderfavorite_borderfavorite_border
by Tim London

In the late 80s it was time to make a new video for our latest single. Having already experienced the crushing embarrassment of miming guitar for hours on end on other videos and telly shows I was determined to ‘mime’ plugged in. Of course, the horrendous noise I made during playback was just distracting if a bit funny. I note that both the mute guitarist and the lead singer who also strums a bit are plugged in throughout this video, hinting that they are an ‘authentic’ live band. Well done! All kinds of bands have been similarly embarrassed, from Van Halen to The Rolling Stones, to the extent that they mime whilst plugged in so they’re in good, hypocritical company. And the tune? The kind of pointless mall-emo that sounds like ‘ssshhhrrrggghhlubble’ to me.

THE MOVERS - Tau Special (Analog Africa) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite
by Ancient Champion


OSCAR LANG & WALLICE - I've Never Been To LA (Dirty Hit) favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_borderfavorite_border
by Tim London

Not sure it’s stoned or snarky enough for LA, but, how would he know? He’s never been.

MEGADETH - We'll Be Back: Chapter 1 (Capitol) favoritefavorite_borderfavorite_borderfavorite_borderfavorite_border
by Tim London

Something about the Brazilian diet… Mega guitarist Kiko Loureiro is obviously immune to the ravages of late middle age Carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis, unless they cheated the recording, maybe sped it up (the horror!). I’m impressed in the way I used to be impressed by the boy at my school who could fart to order. Anyway, as I was saying… ahahahahahahahahaha!


EL MICHELS AFFAIR MEETS LIAM BAILEY - Ekundayo Inversions Instrumentals (Big Crown Records) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Ancient Champion

Because the organ, stoopid.

HOLLIE COOK - Happy Hour (Merge Records) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite
by Alarcon

Forget that Hollie Cook is pop music royalty (her dad’s the Pistol’s Paul Cook, her mother’s Culture Club backing singer Jeni Cook, Boy George is her godfather, and she was a member of the Slits), Happy Hour is the real thing. It’s as close as we’re going to get to a perfect summer LP. The album, her fourth in 11 years, continues Cook’s freshened-up take on Lovers Rock. Merge is pushing “Kush Kween” as the record’s lead-off single, and it’s very good. It’s a peppy mid-tempo Carribean number, which is nice, but it’s obvious. If I was going to tell you to listen to one song on this thing, I’d point you towards “Gold Girl.” It starts off sounding like The Specials’ “Ghost Town” and shifts gears midway into a James Bond theme song. Don’t just listen to this album though; listen to all of them, beginning with her 2011 self-titled debut. “Milk & Honey” is still one of the best reggae songs written in the last 25 years.

Essential Info
Main Image Holly Cook

Tim London

Tim London is a musician, music producer and writer. Originally from a New Town in Essex he is at home amidst concrete and grand plans for the working class. Tim's latest thriller, Smith, is available now. Find out more at

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