This Week at Musikigai
This week on Friday Five things are not as they seem. I mean we still have 5 tracks and an album of the week and your intrepid curator is still here wittering nonsense. However the tracks themselves this week all could have the impression of one thing but are of such finesse, quality or subtle idiosyncrasy that they avoid the boxes they could otherwise fit into. Or thats what my sleep deprived, moonshot obsessed brain is thinking when I write this.
The Foo Fighters record was a little underwhelming, wasn’t it? This week’s album of the week is one I’ve actually heard all of before recommending. The trouble the last couple of weeks has been that I’ve been recommending same day releases and while singles give great steer on the project, it’s a risky game. Foo Fighters is still an album of the week but we definitely got just another Foos record, and that’s absolutely fine. Let’s get back to the live circuit and let them shine properly. Such is the way of mature career artists. It’s tough!
This week’s album of the week is a bonafide classic. It outstripped all expectation and defied my expectations completely. In my view it is Mercury bound. Let’s get to it. One album, five tracks and plenty of good ear-times ahead.
ALBUM OF THE WEEK
Black Country New Road – For The First Time
I was expecting a black midi-alike (something bordering on needlessly challenging) and while not entirely wrong, this 6 track 40 minute ride and a half is a lesson in how to challenge musical preconceptions in an accessible way. A truly remarkable record that enchants, entertains, challenges and delights at every turn along the journey it takes you on. I’m obsessed. Expect post-rock and jazz with spoken word and sung vocals. I can’t wait for their second album already.
Athens, France – Black Country, New Road
We open with a track from our album of the week. I was torn between 4 of the 6 tracks…. hmmm no, I was torn between all 6 tracks but went for this one as it is the most immediately accessible yet ‘takes you there’. It also had lyrics which the first track doesn’t and starts with an immediate melody which many of the tracks don’t. So yea, it’s chosen to try and hook you in and get you to listen to the full album. Just go do it (after the rest of the tracks here)
Get High – Chet Faker
So after all the fuss of “don’t call me Chet Faker” anymore, Nick Murphy is Chet Faker again. Fine by me. I was never sure why all the fuss about the moniker change. We can cope with two names for an artist. I guess when you have to put Chet Faker in brackets on every festival poster it is a little redundant though. This is a cracking return. Playing in the realm of uni-bro meets Jack Johnson chill jock-pop that can be tiresome but maintaining an exceptional production and creativity in delivery. It could be the start of me listening beyond his incredible cover of No Diggity now!
Dark Days – Yard Act
Skirting Sleaford Mods and the spoken shouty, acerbic approach to song writing that is so de rigueur these days. They aren’t even the best band doing that schtick on this list but there is something a lot of fun about this track mixing bouncy pop backing with that approach to vocals that leads it to an almost Madness quality in parts. Good fun.
Hope – Arlo Parks
The only album right now matching my excitement for BCNR is my appreciation of the debut LP from Arlo Parks (AOTW 2 weeks ago). This track is another dart throw as I’m still absorbing it and falling in love with a different track on each listen. Here is almost sinks into full lounge mode bordering on Norah Jones and Katie Melua except I’d rather listen to this 100 times instead of another track from those other two ever again. Maintaining the cool edge of what could otherwise be an unremarkable listen with insightful, wholesome lyrics and brilliant arrangement and production, its another album I can’t sing praises high enough.
The Mess We’re In – PJ Harvey and Thom Yorke
A track over 20 years old but new to me this week is this one. A 6 Music find that I thought was a new track from Thom Yorke but no, it’s even cooler and been around forever. Just an enjoyed share. Got to have some tracks without essay or reason other than: good tune.
A post-script. The rest of this was written last week and I’ve left it as-is but at time of posting (10 days later due to work and personal matters) it forms a double bill. I hope you enjoy both posts, there is great music in both of them. The Black Country New Road record is still really exciting to me after several listens. It is an idiosyncratic wonder. Maybe not for everyone but I think there is stuff to appreciate by most ears. (See you in the most recent, late post…)