That’s June out of the way then? It’s been a mad couple of months and an even stranger year. To help ease matters somewhat and perhaps take your mind off things for an hour, we’ve put together another NEW monthly playlist for your aural pleasure. 20 tunes, old and new – Listen to it here or via that handy little playlist below. Why not give it a like and a share too!
One thing to note before you tuck in. As we’ve seen posted elsewhere, remember: Black lives still matter even if your feed is back to normal. There’s more learning to be done.
Jockstrap – The City
I was drawn into this by the artwork and given the name of the band, one wouldn’t be too off the mark to think this would be some hardcore or metal release, right? Way off. Very much a tale of two halves, the song starts on a stop you in your tracks solo vocal performance from Georgia Ellery with just a piano backing, before the eccie kicks in and you’re sent completely off track into harsh, headspinning electronics with warped voices coming from each direction. Maybe you’re on a bad one? We had this on the other morning and my partner had to turn it off, having forgotten about the second half…
Max Bloom – To Be Alone
When we spoke with Max Bloom about his debut solo album, he talked of ‘Mind Games‘ and post-Beatles solo efforts as listening points and influences. Funnily enough, first listen to ‘Perfume‘ and my thoughts went right to the solo work of John Lennon – opener ‘To Be Alone‘ sounds very Lennon in its grand style and instrumentation.
Public Practice – Compromised
In all the excitement of COVID-19, I completely forgot cucumber cool NYC outfit Public Practice were releasing their debut album! We were all over ‘Distance is a Mirror‘ at the start of last year, so it was a more than welcome discovery. ‘Compromised‘ is hella catchy and loads of fun, with a rock hard chorus.
Priests – Appropriate
(Nothing Feels Natural)
More on COVID-19 and i’ve been leafing through the record collection a lot as of late (and adding to it at a worrying rate…) ‘Nothing Feels Natural‘ was given another spin and mate, it more than stands up. ‘Appropriate‘ is just as thrilling as the first time I heard it, with a pulverising rhythm and a no-fucks-given vocal performance from vocalist Katie Alice Greer. Solid.
(Photo Credit: Chan Kim)
Caroline – Dark Blue
New Rough Trade signees Caroline are still a bit of a mystery, with ‘Dark Blue‘ out at the start of this year being the first I heard of them with not much movement since (though more is apparently on the way). Starting out as a trio, the London based band – having spent a year and a half playing in private without a name – soon evolved and expanded their numbers before playing their debut show as Caroline in 2018. ‘Dark Blue‘ is an incredibly moving piece of music, citing influences from classical to midwestern emo.
Clarence Carter – Slip Away
(This Is Clarence Carter)
Full disclosure, I first discovered Clarence Carter via the hilarious and incredibly NSFW song ‘Strokin‘ (I suggest you give that a listen, whilst we’re here…) Having worked my way back to find the good stuff, ‘Slip Away‘ is a fantastic 60’s cut, featuring his delectably soulful voice that is enough to tug at the heartstrings.
Steve Lacy – Playground
Mesmerising, sun-soaked drop of hypnotic goodness from Steve Lacy. I kept seeing Lacy’s name pop up again and again – a Thundercat collab here, a Vampire Weekend collab there – but only recently got onto his solo debut. It’s no surprise to learn he’s Thundercat’s mate and that definitely comes across on ‘Playground‘, a proper funky bop.
POZI – The Nightmare
More on point unhinged post-punk from LDN trio POZI, with violinist Rosa Brook stealing the show with her infectious ‘ooh-ooh’s. Taken from an EP out this month named after a London bus route. Like it.
Cafe Racer – Zenith
A new discovery for us from the label that brought us the Stuck debut we talked about last month. On ‘Zenith‘, fellow Chicago bods Cafe Racer remind us of Corridor and Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever in that sort of sun-soaked, jangly post-punk that moves at a clip.
XTC – Love At First Sight
No word of a lie, i’ve been smashing this album relentlessly over the past few months. Loved putting together a catchy chorus those XTC lads.
Fucked Up – Dose Your Dreams
(Dose Your Dreams)
As highlighted in our recent interview, Jade Hairpins (Jonah Falco and Mike Haliechuk of Fucked Up) “evolved from an impulse” during the creation of the ‘Dose Your Dreams‘ album. Listening back to the title track, it definitely comes across. Love the video on this one too, Falco and Haliechuk bopping about in various guises.
Gang Of Four – Love Like Anthrax
B-Side to ‘Damaged Goods‘ and closer from their seminal debut album, ‘Love Like Anthrax‘ comes into being following a lengthy stab of screeching and whirring feedback, the late Andy Gill working his guitar chops against that hypnotic bass part.
(Photo Credit: Guy Bolongaro)
Falle Nioke/Ghost Culture – Loneliness
Mega dance effort from Falle Nioke and Ghost Culture. At times it sounds like the soundtrack to Tekken 2, at others it calls to mind that amazing Goatman album on Rocket Recordings we were so fond of a few years back. Nioke is a singer/percussionist from Guinea Conakry, West Africa, mixing it up with Ghost Culture, whose self titled LP was received very favourably back in 2015.
LA Priest – Rubber Sky
More in the dance stakes here from LA Priest, with ‘Rubber Sky‘ wasting little time moving from hazy, bleary-eyed wonky-pop to arse-shaking funk and anthemic dance, similar in a way to that last Unknown Mortal Orchestra record.
Primo! – Perfect Paper
From a record put together across various home studios throughout Melbourne, Primo! are relatively new to me, though their numbers include 2/4 of Aussie favourites Terry and you can find them on tastemaker label Upset The Rhythm. That’s a thumbs up from us even before hearing their bright and breezy take on post-punk.
Vintage Crop – Gridlock
(Serve To Serve Again)
More from Australia and Upset The Rhythm now with the introduction of Vintage Crop. Snarling rapid paced post-punk similar to another new discovery this year – our favourites, Aussie post-punk outfit GONZO. As GONZO haven’t had an album out since 2019, this will do for the foreseeable!
Narrow Head – Night Tryst
(12th House Rock)
Alright cool, so maybe Narrow Head have been listening to a lot of early Smashing Pumpkins (hammering ‘Jellybelly‘ again and again), but ‘Night Tryst‘ still makes for an absolute ripper of a throwback. New LP out on Holy Roar later this year!
Widowspeak – Money
Hypnotising stuff from songwriting pair Molly Hamilton and Robert Earl Thomas, a.k.a. Widowspeak. Take one look at the duo and you’ll get a flavour for why ‘Money‘, latest single from their forthcoming fifth album, sounds so warm and throwback in its production.
Fenne Lily – Alapathy
A new discovery following our recent review of the new Phoebe Bridgers record. Fenne Lily’s second album comes out on the same label (Dead Oceans), similar in that moving at a pace vibe expertly executed by Rolling Blackouts/Cafe Racer, completed with that vocal that raises hairs on the back of your neck. Proper catchy.
Lianne La Havas – Bittersweet
(Lianne La Havas)
Having popped back up on our radar via her recently released Radiohead cover (‘Weird Fishes‘), ‘Bittersweet‘ is the first new material in five years from La Havas and the opener from her forthcoming record. A delight to have her back, the single showcases that powerful soulful voice we fell for way back when.
Like what you see? Why not stick around and check out the other articles and interviews!
Don’t forget to follow Birthday Cake For Breakfast on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!