Your F***ing Sunny Day (Episode 36)

 

Mercury Music Prize – Comment

 

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alt-j – ‘Relaxer’ – Maybe
I quite liked this and it probably deserves a place on this shortlist, however, points off for including a version of ‘House of the rising son’. Why? Filler.

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Blossoms – ‘Blossoms’
This is bollocks.

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Dinosaur – ‘Together, As One’
This is great and a real find as I’d never heard of it. Jazz with some electronic flourishes, nice arrangements, not too much dissonance. I might buy this one.

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Ed Sheeran – ‘÷’
I have no idea what this is doing here, it’s just Ed Sheeran being Ed Sheeran isn’t it? Yes, it sold bucket loads, but according to the prize itself: The main objectives of the Prize are to recognise and celebrate artistic achievement, provide a snapshot of the year in music and to help introduce new albums from a range of music genres to a wider audience. Now it does fall into the first two of those categories but not the last, and to be honest, I listened to it and I will be quite happy to live the rest of my life and never hear it again.

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Glass Animals – ‘How to Be a Human Being’
This is OK, quite pleasant I suppose, not particularly ground breaking but it’s quite listenable.

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J Hus – ‘Common Sense’
This is really very good, I like it. There’s autotune and then there’s creative autotune and where it’s used here it’s the latter, which I can live with. There’s some really good backing tracks and some good angry bits as well as plenty of melody. Yup, it’s good.

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Kate Tempest – ‘Let Them Eat Chaos’
Nope nope nope. I saw her Glastonbury set and didn’t like it. This is poetry put to music and it hardly ever really works, certainly doesn’t here. Best of luck to her but it’s of not for me.

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Loyle Carner – ‘Yesterday’s Gone’
This is very good, and there is an argument that can be made that this is also poetry over music in places as well, except that is a crap argument as this is an MC not a poet. I’d definitely recommend giving this a listen.

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Sampha – ‘Process’
I heard some of this album on a car journey at the weekend and it wasn’t what I was expecting at all, I’d assumed it was Hip Hop, my bad, it’s not that at all. Sampha has a really interesting voice and I guess if you had to file in a genre you could easily go for Electronic.

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Stormzy – ‘Gang Signs & Prayer’
So this is Grime, or that’s what I read. It’s actually pretty good, a bit angry in places but that’s ok. ‘Blinded by your grace’ is a beautiful thing and ‘Big For Your Boots’ is good.

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The Big Moon – ‘Love in the 4th Dimension’
Pretty good. I don’t particularly feel there’s anything here that I haven’t heard before, but if you like indie pop, then you’ll find this to be a very good addition to your listening.

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The xx – ‘I See You’
I’ve been unsure about The XX for a while, I sort of don’t know what they are, but listening to this album makes it clearer for me.  I can now be sure that it is not something I am a big fan of, but I can see the appeal.

If it were me then I would drop 6 of these at least, so for completeness I have to replace them. So this would be my list:
alt-j – ‘Relaxer’ – Maybe
Dinosaur – ‘Together, As One’
J Hus – ‘Common Sense’
Loyle Carner – ‘Yesterday’s Gone’
Sampha – ‘Process’
Stormzy – ‘Gang Signs & Prayer’
Kelly Lee Owens ‎– Kelly Lee Owens
Forest Swords ‎– Compassion
Slowdive – Slowdive
Roger Goula ‎– Overview Effect
Max Richter – Three Worlds: Music from Woolf Works
Public Service Broadcasting – Every Valley

I’ll be playing a track from each of these on the radio show 5 when I get around to recording it.

 

Slowdive

The wait for the latest Slowdive album hasn’t been a long one for me (for some it’s been 23 years or so) as I have never paid them any attention ever. I’d heard of them, was aware of them, but never took the time to listen to anything or to seek anything out. Then, at some point, a couple of weeks ago I saw a 30 second clip of a video, I don’t even recall where I saw it, and thought to myself two things, “That’s not what I expected,” and “I quite like that”.

 

So I find myself in the record store and there is the new album, until, quite suddenly, it’s not, because it’s on the way home with me in a bag. I played it several times and I still liked it, which is good. What happened next was that a few weeks later I found myself in the same record store and there was their first album. I thought I’d give it a go, why not? I liked the latest after all. At the counter I found myself in conversation with the fellow behind the counter who very kindly gave me a print of the cover of the new album signed by all the band members, which was unexpected but very welcome.

I liked the first album as well, which could only mean one thing, there were two in between the first and the latest and. yes, they are both now in my possession. This was a ridiculous Slowdive splurge. I’ve also been listening to them all on Apple Music during work and I really have very little that might be considered negative about any of them. I know there are a few reviews out there which question whether the latest stands up next to the the other albums, but I can’t see that as a reasonable question at all, to me it does. They are four consistently good albums from my perspective, which is, of course, from listening to them all for the first time in the last few weeks, which might give me a better perspective as the 23 year wait really does mean nothing to me and, while I can hear production quality differences, presumably as a result of new technologies, nothing so jarring as to be really that noticeable. To be entirely honest, when I bought the first album I actually thought it was the third.

One thing that I have found from listening to these four albums is that there is a unified feel to them all, in that the listener can hear that it is the same band, but with both male and female vocals and instrumentals, there’s a good deal of variety and that does keep me interested. I have listened to albums before where this didn’t apply and everything feels the same from one song to the next, making them somewhat interchangeable, not so with Slowdive. I really should have paid more attention and been listening to and enjoying these albums for the last 30 years.

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Just For A Day

Tracklist:

A1 Spanish Air 6:06
A2 Celia’s Dream 4:12
A3 Catch The Breeze 4:22

A4 Ballad Of Sister Sue 4:34

A5 Erik’s Song 4:27
B1 Waves 5:54
B2 Brighter 3:51
B3 The Sadman 4:47
B4 Primal 5:29


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Souvlaki

Tracklist 

A1 Alison 3:52

A2 Machine Gun 4:28
A3 40 Days 3:17
A4 Sing 4:50
A5 Here She Comes 2:19
B1 Souvlaki Space Station 5:59
B2 When The Sun Hits 4:48
B3 Altogether 3:43
B4 Melon Yellow 3:54
B5 Dagger 3:33


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Pygmalion

Tracklist

A1 Rutti 10:05

A2 Crazy For You 6:01
A3 Miranda 4:49
A4 Trellisaze 6:22
B1 Cello 1:42
B2 J’s Heaven 6:47
B3 Visions Of La 1:48
B4 Blue Skied An’ Clear 6:54
B5 All Of Us 4:07


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Slowdive

Tracklist 

A1 Slomo
A2 Star Roving
A3 Don’t Know Why
A4 Sugar For The Pill

B1 Everyone Knows
B2 No Longer Making Time
B3 Go Get It
B4 Falling Ashes

The Listening List

Some more things I’ve listened to, without all the covers this time as I will never keep up if I do that every time:

20/04/2017 – 18/06/2017

Sufjan Stevens • Nico Muhly • Bryce Dessner • James McAlister – Planetarium
Slowdive – Pygmalion
Lambchop – Is A Woman
Kraftwerk – The Model
Portishead – Over
Sonic Youth – Daydream Nation
Slowdive – Souvlaki
Björk – Biophilia Remixes | Part Eight
The White Stripes – Under Great White Northern Lights
Forest Swords – Compassion
Delia Derbyshire And Elsa Stansfield – Circle Of Light
Slowdive – Just For A Day

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Nirvana – In Utero
Jonas Reinhardt, Jürgen Müller – The Encyclopedia Of Civilizations Vol. 1: Egypt
Nirvana – Nevermind
Sex Pistols – Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols
Zomby – With Love
Spiritualized – Amazing Grace 3 EPs Box Set
Slowdive – Slowdive
Sonic Youth – Sonic Nurse
Sonic Youth – Murray Street
The Future Sound Of London – Archived
The Smiths – The Queen Is Dead
The Smiths – Meat Is Murder
Mogwai – Rock Action
David Bowie – No Plan EP
The Smiths – The Boy With The Thorn In His Side
Cocteau Twins – Four-Calendar Café
Mew – Visuals
Cozmic Corridors – Cozmic Corridors
Steve Reich – LSO Percussion Ensemble – Sextet | Clapping Music | Music For Pieces Of Wood
Gorillaz – Plastic Beach
Asobi Seksu – Citrus
Gorillaz – Humanz
Atoms For Peace – Before Your Very Eyes.
Björk – Biophilia Remixes | Part Six
The Future Sound Of London – Archived : Environmental : Views
Field Music – Tones Of Town
Bjørn Torske – Nedi Myra
Faust (7) / Ulan Bator – Faust / Ulan Bator
Richard Pinhas, Camera (10) – Camera / Richard Pinhas
Actress – AZD
Cocteau Twins – Milk & Kisses
Mew – Frengers