I had planned to deliver my third podcast of new music, but after too many failed attempts at the voice over, I thought i’d share the music and my script instead!
Every time I like a new [to me] song, I add it to a Spotify playlist for the month. Then I curate the list down to a collection of my favourites to create a short list, to share.
This is my March selection of tracks I discovered during February 2019.
We opened with a 1995 track called Death Letter from Mississippi born Cassandra Wilson. You will recognise this from the opening credits of True Detective series 3.
Series music producer T Bone Burnett picked this interpretation of Son House ‘Death Letter Blues’ to frame the opening of this amazing TV series.
I heartily recommend seeking out this show – it is a return to form for True Detective after a misguided second series.
Bury a Friend
Bury a Friend is the latest release from 17 year old ‘pop sensation’ Billie Ellish. I was drawn in by the whole production of this track. I think it is unlike anything I have heard before, or certainly nothing that is out there right now.
Taken from Grouper’s 2014 album, Ruins. Grouper, also known as Liz Harris specialises in these ambient type tracks, full of reverb and depth. I could happily spend all day wallowing in tracks like this.
The Lonely One
My ears pricked up when this track started playing. It sounded like the opening of ‘Can’t You See’ by the Marshall Tucker Band, one of my favourite songs.
It is ‘The Lonely One’ by Dave Mason from his 1973 album, ‘It’s Like you never left.’ The album boasts an impressive cast of supporting musicians including George Harrison, Graham Nash and Steve Wonder who promised harmonica on this track. Dave’s musical pedigree stretches back to 1963 when he met a drummer called Jim Capaldi. In 1965 as the Road Manager for the Spencer Davis Group he met a young Steve Winwood later joining them both as a founder member of Traffic. If you remember singing to Hole in My Shoe – the traffic or the Neil version, that was his work.
Dark Side of the Moon
Anything that references dark side of the moon is good for me. Of course, this is talking about the moon, not the Pink Floyd album. This was ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ by Sheffield blues band Medicine Head. This was a UK hit back in 1973, but like all the tracks here, not something I’d heard before.
I was driving along, listening to whatever came on Spotify when this jazz piece came on. Called ‘The Millionaire’ It could be right at home in a Seventies caper, or an Austin Powers Movie. It was performed by the Dudley Moore trio. Dudley was a British writer and comic, one half Derek and Clive and Hollywood star of Arthur and Ten. He was also an accomplished musician.
This song was actually taken from the 1967 film Bedazzled written by Peter Cook and starring Cook, Dudley Moore and Raquel Welch.
Dudley’s first love was jazz, a passion that he kept until his early passing back in 2002 and you can find his extensive back catalogue on Spotify.
Hey Keyon, this is mom
Just giving you some words of encouragement
Id just like to say,
that ive always taught you to never give up, and never give in
Because youre gonna go through
trials, youre gonna go through tribulations
But you got to count it all joy;
that your trials only come to make you strong
Voicemail, from Granmy Award Winning Trumpeter Keyon Harrold. Raised in Ferguson Missouri, his album The Mugician examines the troubled times of Missouri after the Death of unarmed teen Michael Brown and wider fractures happening to society. The album includes his compositions set to spoken word, like this voicemail from his mum.
Signals into Space
From British duo Ultramarine, taken from their 2019 album of the same name. Influenced by 70’s prog rock like Robert Wyatt, Soft Machine and Caravan, the duo have been putting out albums since the Nineties and this is another great addition their canon.
I Wonder Why
The unmistakable voice of Art Garfunkel with ‘I Wonder Why’, taken from his 1988 album Lefty. This was his 7th solo studio album, one that didn’t really trouble the charts but did warrant three minor single hits of which this was not one.
I just don’t think I’ll ever get over you
This is a 2009 track from Colin Hay, taken froths 2009 album Transcendental Highway. I looked up Colin Hay so I could tell you more about him, and was astonished to find out he was the songwriter and lead singer with Men At Work. Possibly the most iconic Australian pop song ‘Down Under’ was written by Colin who had emigrated from Scotland as a teenager.
I trawl the Megahertz
And so we come to the last track of this of this selection, and the one that I call late to the party. A track that most people have heard, but it passed me by. It is the long opening track of a new Prefab Sprout album, I trawl the Megahertz. However, it is actually a in 2003 solo effort from Prefab’s frontman Paddy McAloon.
The genesis of this album dates back to 1999 when McAloon was rendered almost blind by a detached retina. Taking comfort in listening to shortwave radio transmissions, chat shows and phone ins he found inspiration to couple these spoken words with other sources, setting them to music. This opening track gives the album it’s name and is a 20 minute opus can be in parts comforting and engaging. For me it has echoes of The Art of Noise and their opening track, Il Pleut from the Seduction of Claude Debussy.