This Week at Musikigai
Happy Fontaines D.C. release day everyone! They don’t feature here today but a full review will come as soon as I’ve got my ears around it.
In casa-Musikigai this week there was much excitement this time last week when I finally got a new desk chair having been sat on the the equivalent of a decorative kitchen chair for 3 months. We have also had a minor rearrangement in the living room to make the turntable more accessible again so vinyl is back on the cards. Not sure where all the new vinyl purchases are going go, mind you, but that’s future Musikigai’s problem.
I also listened to all the Mercury Award shortlisted albums. Still forming my view on some of them but there will be a slew of album reviews for them over the coming weeks ahead of the ceremony. It won’t be all of them though for two reasons. There are not enough Mondays and Wednesdays between now and then to cover all of them and also cover new releases that I want to (and I’ve got no plans to increase output at this point).
Secondly, this blog is part review service part curated recommendation site. If an album features on here, I want to to be a tacit stamp of approval that the album is worth your attention. That’s not to say all reviews will be positive, albeit there will naturally be a skew as a result, but if you want universal coverage there are plenty of outlets out there with the resources to offer that which I don’t have. So my aim, until that day, is to be a trusted voice of reason and observation in the world of music for you. The internet has enough opinion and music journalism is on a knife edge for survival when taken as a whole. The future is in curation. Though of course that includes reviews and journalism.
So there will be more Mercury nominated albums coming up (many of which were on my slate anyway!) but not all of them. I will try to put out a feature covering them all in one post closer to the ceremony though.
Anyway, enough musings for this week. On to this week’s curated tracks:
Douha (Mali Mali) – Disclosure (feat. Fatoumata Diawara)
Both Disclosure and Fatoumata Diawara are knocking it out of the park with their releases this year.
Fatou has featured on this track and also the incredible Désolé by Gorillaz (a previous track on F5). She is just brilliant and if, like happens with me, you have seen her name but not dug deeper, her albums are great too and well worth a listen – get to it! (After these five tracks of course).
Meanwhile it is 3 for 3 bangers as far as singles go for the forthcoming Disclosure record. Due out on 28 August, I haven’t been this excited for a record since their debut. …from any artist. Oh, except maybe Jamie xx.
Weird Fishes – Lianne La Havas
The music world has certain unwritten, unspoken rules. Thou shalt not cover Led Zeppelin (Greta van Fleet – looking at you guys), nor Robbie Williams (for other reasons), nor Queen (because if you think you can out Freddie, Freddie… well, do I have to explain?). Up there in the do-not-cover group is Radiohead. Unless you’re Mark Ronson but let’s face it – that wasn’t really the same song was it?
Lianne La Havas has said “fuck that” and released this enrapturing version of Weird Fishes from Radiohead’s In Rainbows and put it right in the middle of her eponymous third album. It really works in context. On its own it may take a couple of listens if like me the original is a favourite track, but after 2-3 listens it will hit and the beauty – that is resplendent across her album – captures you completely.
2 Far Gone – Moses Boyd
A find from the Mercury shortlisted albums I hadn’t yet listened to (about half the list). Showing the excitement in the British Jazz scene right now – a scene that was criminally under represented in the shortlist given the vibrancy of the scene – Dark Matter genre jumps to great effect and I’ve only listened once so far but am excited to dive in again.
Love Again – Dua Lipa
If you had told me at the beginning of the year that I would be posting and recommending Dua Lipa unironically this year I’d have scoffed and maybe said “well I do love a good pop song so if she comes out with a banger then fair enough”. If you’d said her album would be one of the best pop albums in years and be in contention for end of year lists I would absolutely not have believed you.
Her album was on my radar after receiving many plaudits but I hadn’t got round to it. Then the Mercury shortlist was announced and so I ventured through all the albums and this was the biggest surprise of the pile. At times sounding like Lady Gaga and deftly delivering shameless pop music rooted in its past but firmly focussed on the future leading to a simply magnificent pop album. This track stood out to me thanks to the sample used but I could equally have included 4 or 5 others. It’s nice to be surprised sometimes.
Ukrainian Wine – Nadine Shah
Nadine Shah, Fontaines D,C, Nadine Shah, Fontaines D.C… which one, which one. I’ve gone for Nadine Shah to draw a line under her album for me. This track is one of the better ones on the album. See the post from Wednesday for my full view on the record and enjoy this island of relative sanity from it here.
Enjoy the new Fontaines record everyone, come back next week to find out my view. As I’ve fallen behind in article production I won’t be revealing what is out when precisely but the aim is for Fontaines and The Streets this week.
Also as shielding ends in the UK tomorrow please look after yourselves and be considerate of others who might be experiencing the new normal for the first time. I’m one of them and not rushing out but some will be so please be nice.
As always, I’ll see you here on Monday and Wednesday for album takes and next Friday for another dose of 5 tracks. Oh, and come and say hi on Instagram! I’d love to hear from you!