Tag Archives: Tove Lo

New Feature: Albums of the Week

A new feature which ideally belongs on a Monday but has had its inaugural publication pushed back due to the fact it takes a while to listen to a crop of albums enough to give any sort of valid opinion on them! Next week should see the feature nestling into a more appropriate publication day.

platform

Holly Herndon – Platform

A producer hailing from Tennessee and based in San Francisco, Herndon makes music that would make a Coldplay fan shit their pants. It has more in common with unpredictable sonic art than a sing-along such as Come on Eileen, say. The album features Arca-like swoops and jerks – basically it sounds like the future. Sometimes it is heart-clingingly beautiful, sometimes it sounds like a vocoder and a shredder making unholy love. The tracks with talking through them are not really for me but you cannot deny the invention and I respect that she is the auteur of her own sound – it is her vocals she’s mashing up. She’s her own FKA Twigs and Arca in one. This is for those who like their music to function as a cheap and legal way to alter their consciousness.

hot chip

Hot Chip – Why Make Sense

The sixth album from the sunny dance pioneers. They don’t seem to have tickled the mainstream much but for urbanites with discernment they are the go-to band for dance music with a heart. Alexis Taylor’s fragile, smitten falsetto imbues their sound with a charming warmth but they also know their way round a tune – single Need You Now is infectious throwback house. The album closes with the urgent title track asking “why make sense when the world around refuses?” Indeed.

saturns

Paul Weller – Saturns Pattern

Weller shows that success and advancing age needn’t mean flabby complacence, as his 12th solo album finds him in a pleasingly experimental mood. That title is a massive fuck you to grammatical pedants, mind.

Bush_Album_Cover

Snoop Dogg – Bush

Does Snoop like to smoke weed? I never knew, he’s so tight-lipped about it. I jest, of course, he never bloody shuts up about it. The new album is slinky and star-studded. Pharell produced, Stevie Wonder inflected Bush may not offer much in the way of musical or lyrical invention but the Dogg’s rapping is as hypnotic as ever.

Tove_Lo_-_Queen_of_the_Clouds

Tove Lo – Queen of the Clouds

The Swedish hot mess produces a 21- track epic of a debut. It is a masterful and beguiling collection of confessionals about being a hedonistic disaster area. Never has being drunk and heartbroken looked so perversely appealing.

daphnis

Maurice Ravel – Daphnis et Chloe, La Valse 

We are not restricted to one genre here and classical music can be just as fresh and inventive as any other type, especially to the uninitiated. The lack of lyrics mean that it is a good choice for concentration. Maurice Ravel (1875 – 1937) was a French composer associated with impressionism and Daphnis et Chloe, composed for a Michel Fokine ballet debuted in 1912, is his longest work. Performed by the Paris Opera orchestra, conducted by Philippe Jordan, this new release is a swirling, immersive piece with lush arrangements, glimmers of harp and wordless vocals that sound almost sci-fi. Its tone constantly varies, swooping from crescendos to hush and back again. I gave it a listen on an off-chance and it has quickly insinuated itself into my affections and garnered repeated listens. Listening feels like more than just passive consumption.

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This week’s Spotlist

The songs I’m listening to this week on – old and new – collected on a handy playlist, should you want to do the same.

The Prodigy – Warrior’s Dance 

Because, why not?

The Gap Band – Burn Rubber On Me 

For those feeling let down by the election results, feel hard done by in a funky way with this irresistible classic about being hurt and disappointed.

Snoop Dogg – Awake 

The Lion is dead, long live the Dogg. The laconic rapper ditches reggae and returns with an album of slinky rap tunes in Bush, produced by Pharrell and featuring Stevie Wonder, Kendrick Lamarr and Rick Ross, amongst others. This track features the Dogg in particularly slinky mood.

Tink – Ratchet Commandments 

The 20-year-old rapper hooks up with Timbaland for this brutal sermon announcing her arrival in the big leagues. Expect a debut album this year.

Tove Lo – Habits (Stay High) 

Raw, bruised electro-pop from the Swede’s debut Queen of the Clouds. Her explicit and honest lyrics and husky voice straddle this 21-track opus, making an addictive, huge album. As she sings, “sometimes I’m charming as f***.”

Roisin Murphy – Uninvited Guest 

Glassy, languid, slightly menacing disco from the queen of such. On her new album, Hairless Toys.

Susanne Sundfor – Insects 

More Scandiness in this psychedelic closer to the singer’s latest album, Ten Love Songs, which provides what it says on the tin with innovation and Beethoven.

Rozi Plain – Friend City 

A cheery, chirpy song, from the London based singer-songwriter’s album Friend.

Nancy Sinatra – Lady Bird

Dark blue treasure from the iconic 60s singer.

Bop English – Falling at Your Feet 

James Petralli, the lead singer of White Denim, unleashes his debut solo album as alter ego Bop English. Fans of the band will like this, though it is a looser, more experimental take on his usual style.

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