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Outsideleft Week in Music Has Your Duvet and Pillows We're hearing from... Slowdive, Woods, The Clientele, Attrition, schntzl, Dexys , Mandy, Indiana, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, M. Ward, Crass, Swans, Pet Shop Boys , Beverly Glenn-Copeland, Gal Pal, The Lilac Time, Dr. Dre and Feeble Little Horse

Outsideleft Week in Music Has Your Duvet and Pillows

We're hearing from... Slowdive, Woods, The Clientele, Attrition, schntzl, Dexys , Mandy, Indiana, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, M. Ward, Crass, Swans, Pet Shop Boys , Beverly Glenn-Copeland, Gal Pal, The Lilac Time, Dr. Dre and Feeble Little Horse

by OL House Writer,
first published: June, 2023

approximate reading time: minutes

"I hope they plan on handing out duvets and pillows at their gigs." - Alan Rider

Outsideleft Week in Music can't happen this week without comment on Glastonbury the musical festival. It is happening in several fields and on TV. This weekend. Meanwhile for everyone who likes music, there is the Outsideleft Week in Music, that's happening before your very eyes right here and you are living it.

SINGLES

SLOWDIVE - Kisses (Dead Oceans)
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by Alan Rider

Slowdive have a lot to answer for, having started the whole sorry 'shoegaze' thing.  They are still here too and like every band it seems are touring the world.  Who has the spare cash to go and see this constant parade of faces from the past we'd hoped to forget, trotting out their latest?  This sounds like another trademark Slowdive bland and instantly forgettable snooze fest to me.  I hope they plan on handing out duvets and pillows at their gigs.


WOODS - White Winter Melody (Woodist)
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by Toon Traveller

Dreamy, easy on the ear, gentle waves of love and affection. It oozes summer parkland sitting, buttercup picking, ice cold drinks sipping. Sure there's a great, great kickback, lay down, and dream the day away. Just so chilled, so easy on the ear, and the brain. Neither candyfloss soft, nor insubstantial. A well polished, smooth as honey, sound picture. Sure there's a discordant snippet, a  brief interruption in summer calm, a distant car horn, a passing cloud, but it's as forgettable as last lightbulb you bought and fitted. Well played, but nothing whatsoever going on which had Ancient Champion been reviewing this well, this would be a five star swoon from that goon.


M. WARD - Too Young To Die Ft. First Aid Kit (ANTI-)
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by Ancient Champion

Redolent of Ann Snowbird Murray and Robert Wyatt Ruby... Taken from M. Ward's new LP a Supernatural Thing. I wonder what OL's Tim London will make of M. Ward saying, "First Aid Kit are sisters from Stockholm, and when they open their mouths, something amazing happens. The sound from blood-related harmony singers is impossible to get any other way – The Everly Brothers, The Delmores, The Louvins, The Carters, The Söderbergs - all have the same kind of feeling in their vocals." And not mention J&P? M. needs a bit more of a musical education. On the whole though Ward and the First Aid Kit make the most of what they have and no more should they part. If they stick together it could halve the bland releases in the future.


DEXYS - Coming Home (100% )
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by Katherine Pargeter

Steel yourself, but this is the second Dexys single in a row that is a little underwhelming. The good-intentioned monologue of 'The Feminine Divine' was so overly apologetic that it grated. Kev treated women unfairly in the past but now he wants us to see that he's the error of his ways. And we are now invited to accept Kev's apology, even though he doth protest too much. And if that dose of self-flagellating Kev wasn't enough 'Coming Home' is another of his 'I was so lost but now I'm found...' efforts that we're getting too familiar with. It starts well enough but then the risible and clumsy chorus of 'I tried to be what I ought to be and I also tried domesticity' is something I wish I could unhear.  And then the slips into a cross between Dexys pastiche and a rather lame attempt at a football anthem singalong.  It genuinely saddens me.  Dexys, as we love them, aren't coming home. 


GAL PAL - Pleasures (Youth Riot)
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by Alan Rider

Gal Pal just scream 'Entitled!' at me.  US college kids. Affluent. Able to indulge their rock star fantasies for a few years with the help of a college trust fund before moving into the family law firm.  However, this ain't half bad in contrast to the by-numbers shoegaze that fills the rest of their album 'This and Other Gestures'.  Its annoying when brats get things so right.


MANDY, INDIANA - The Driving Rain (Fire Talk)
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by Alan Rider

The fourth single taken off their 'I've Seen A Way' debut album and this is one of the highlights. One of the most challenging new acts around and sure to be too well known to talk to us before too long, so watch out for an exclusive interview with this lot on Outsideleft popping up very soon whilst we still can.


BEVERLY GLENN-COPELAND - Harbour (Song For Elizabeth) (Transgressive Records )
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by Katherine Pargeter

The beauty of this simple love song is devastating. A gentle piano introduction by Nicholas Dourado (such a multi-talented young musician), sets the scene before Copeland’s warm, almost spiritual, voice enters. And it's profound. As the title suggests 'Harbour' is a love song to his wife, the honesty is there in his delivery and, what could easily be so sentimental in other hands, is genuinely touching. You will be moved. Now in his late 70s, recognition came late to Beverly Glenn-Copeland, he recently describing his years of being overlooked as: “I was transgender in a straight world, a Black person in a white world, and an artist in a business world.” After you've been moved by 'Harbour' try and find a copy of 'Transmissions' the compilation of his long, and appallingly overlooked, career. It is music that you need to hear. 


FEEBLE LITTLE HORSE - Sweet (Saddle Creek)
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by Alan Rider

Winner of this weeks rubbish band name competition, Feeble Little Horse, follow up their previous four heart earning 'Steamroller' single with this one, also sucked off their album 'Girl With Fish', which will be out sometime soon I guess (we will probably get a copy sent when it does so I will let you know then).  Like 'Steamroller' this is a sprawling and wonderfully disorganised bit of lo-fi Pixie/indie rock stuff, that contrasts wildly with the glossy, over produced crud we get thrown at us every week at OL like so many custard tarts.  I love them for having unshaven rough edges and not caring, looking so geeky and caring even less, and leaving the gloss and polish behind in the studio broom cupboard and not even noticing. Death to glossy production I say! Big claps and pats to Feeble Little Horse! I even like the name now.


THE CLIENTELE - Radial B (Merge Records)
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by Toon Traveller

Radial  B and Garden Eye Mantra give a flavour of the album. Radial B, an interlude, simple piano stark and somber, wistful and wintery, an pulse from contemporary music? In the best sense. A complete contrast, Garden Eye Mantra,  wistful, warm vocals, slow timed. Light, soft violin strings, give a sorta "I talk to the trees" sense, was it Pink Floyd, pre Dark Side of the Moon? But there's a development into a darker sense of place. Almost Lynyrd Skynhead chord sequenceat the start, then moves on. strings, golden wheat, summer breeze swaying, Sunshine, sadness, day's end shadows to come. The lyrics "out in the dark the Hatchbacks are rolling", yeah sheer profundity, (or not). Whatever, a fairly lone rose, nestling in the weeds of todays throwaway world.


THE LILAC TIME - The Long Way (Poetica)
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by Jay Lewis

‘We took the long way, we found our tribe…’  

‘The Long Way’ Stephen Duffy reflects upon the very long and rather winding road that he has taken … and having seen and experienced so many, ahem, ups and downs, he seems fairly content nowadays.  And he’s here to share some of that wisdom, Stephen’s matured folk singer voice is accompanied by lovely acoustic and pedal steel guitars and wife Claire on backing vocals.  There may even be one of Jack Nicholson’s best lines from the film ‘As Good as It Gets’ in the lyrics too.  What is certain is that, following the triumph of their last album (Return to Us’, 2019), The Lilac Time are making some of their most heartfelt music to date. If you're unfamiliar with their work, now might be a good time to join their tribe. The Lilac Time’s forthcoming album ‘Dance Till All The Stars Come Down’  is available to pre-order here


LPs

SCHNTZL - Holiday (Cortizona)
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by Alan Rider

Belgian jazz weirdos Schntzl's Casper Van De Velde and Hendrik Lasure are now on their third album and are not afraid to push the envelope by embracing synths, drum rolls, lost piano sounds and samples of Spanish guitars, singing ladies, slow mo clarinets and the patterns produced by a scary sounding 'percussion robot'. ‘Holiday’ is the result of a holiday in Ravenna, Italy where they played around with musique concrete and what they describe as "frenetic hyperpop textures", all of which adds up to a distinctly eclectic set of sound pieces (calling them songs would be both inaccurate and also do them a disservice) with only the track 'Silk' ,with its Europop references, resembling anything other than free form jazz experimentation.  Its a lush track for sure, and the best one here.  The rest are a mixed bunch, ranging from confusing and unstructured noodlings to what sounds like a soundtrack to a demo video for a new sampler. There is no real flow or album structure here as every track stands alone, but they all have an oblique charm for sure.  https://cortizona.bandcamp.com/


ATTRITION - Live In The Cage (Two Gods)
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by Alan Rider

Although stating that any album is "long awaited" has become a bit of a cliche, it certainly applies in spades to Attrition's much anticipated new album 'The Black Maria', their first full studio outing since 2015's 'Millions of The Mouthless Dead' with Anni Hogan and 2016's 'Part Time Lovers' remix album.  In the meantime they have been pumping out a slew of remixes, compilations, and archive live recordings stretching back to the mid '80s. Things have now come full circle with the original 1980 line up re-forming and embarking on a string of new live performances, of which 'Live In The Cage' is effectively a rehearsal tape.  Featuring selected tracks from throughout their long career and the upcoming album, for a live release it lacks a little in dynamics and audience reaction (as there wasn't any audience!) yet at the same time amply showcases the mesmerising sound that Attrition have made their own; bubbling and percussive electronics and samples, overlaid with operatic wails, and underpinned by founder member and production wizard Martin's gruff and near indecipherable baritone.  The aim is never to bludgeon you with volume or theatrics just to impress, but rather to draw you in slowly, subtly, and inexorably into their dark vision.  Beloved by Goths, Electronic, and Industrial fans alike, with 'Live In The Cage' Attrition have added yet another jigsaw piece to what could very well be the world's longest pre-sale build for an album.  It is imminent now though (I think!) and promises to be well worth the long wait.  Order Live In The Cage here https://attritionuk.bandcamp.com/album/live-in-the-cage-07022023


KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD - PetroDragonic Apocalypse; or, Dawn of Eternal Night: An Annihilation (KGLW)
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by Alan Rider

Australian rock bands eh?  What are they like! King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard have a brilliant name and have been churning out albums at a hell of a rate since 2011 (even releasing three albums in one month in October 2022!) throwing garage rock, acid jazz, metal, grunge and all manner of kitchen sinks into the mix, even microtonal.  They certainly are diverse, but with tracks with names like Witchcraft, Gila Monster, and Dragon on this album, you'd be quickly writing them off as a generic sword and sorcery speed/death metal act.  On the evidence of tracks like Gila Monster you could be forgiven for that too, but other well crafted and complex tracks on the album like 'Flamethrower' prove that they have a lot more depth to offer, as their extensive back catalogue proves, yet they choose to bury that underneath thrashy metal here for some reason. Shame really.


SWANS - The Beggar (Mute/Young Gods)
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by Alan Rider

Swans' The Beggar is released in all formats on 23 June. It's heartening that they are still making challenging records. Alan Rider has a full review right over here⇒


PET SHOP BOYS - SMASH - The Singles 1985 - 2020 (Parlophone)
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by Katherine Pargeter

Back in 1985, pop irritant, Jonathan King wrote in his column in a leading British tabloid newspaper that, although he quite liked the number one single 'West End Boys' by the Pet Shop Boys, he really didn't think that they would last or bother the charts much more. I'm certain that Mr. King has had some far more pressing matters to attend to in the ensuing 38 years and I imagine that he really doesn't give a hoot about some hack piece he wrote to some long-forgotten deadline. But, should he get the time he may enjoy listening to the 55 tracks on 'Smash', particularly the 39 that made it to the top twenty. Although a couple of PSB's 14 studio albums probably don't warrant much re-examination, the quality of their singles has rarely dipped. 'The Pop Kids' and 'Monkey Business' are as elegant and essential as any of those that King was aware of when his life was, well, a little less complicated.


Other Materials

CRASS - Crass socks (Steve Ignorant Shop)
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by Alan Rider

We get to see some odd things at Outsideleft.  That's all in the nature of being an eclectic, left field, and non mainstream site I guess!  Hot on the heels of the infamous Crass Cufflinks (which implied that whilst bending the knee and tugging your forelock at some state banquet you would secretly be striking a blow for anarchy, peace, and freedom via your cufflinks), come Crass socks, where you can strike that same blow but in an even less visible way whilst keeping your toes warm. The ideal accompaniment to that coffee table limited hardback edition book of anarchist punk artwork and limited run vinyl box set you know you want.  Anarchy has never felt so corporate.


ANCIENT CHAMPION - Whipped Up and Stripped Down (Youtube)
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by Lee Paul

Great week in music right? If you're reading this on the day it was published - waiting to be sated in the way we all used to wait around for the NME to come out... let me let you know that is you still have a taste for a little live and arts, OL's Ancient Champion are performing at the Asylum Art Gallery this very evening. At the closing of the AMASS Group's Aftermath. I was there when they played at the opening. It's certainly something. Jay Lewis put this video together to one of their demos.


DR DRE - Still Dre (Aftermath)
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by Lee Paul

One of the most iconic piano pieces of all time by Scott Storch. Once heard never forgotten. And Snoop too..."(Still) Hitting them corners in them low-lows, girl..." I don't know what that means. Cars, shorts, what? Do seem to remember those low riders racing home from Elysian Fields if there was a shower.


Essential Information
Main image: Slowdive by Parri Thomas. 

OL House Writer

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