Gilded Skies – Jack Hertz
Excellent ambient music, free to download or stream. One of my photos on the cover. See also here. Released by We Are All Ghosts netlabel, founded by my friend Thomas Mathie aka @headphonaught on Twitter and elsewhere.
AMOK – Atoms For Peace (Thom Yorke)
The debut album by the band Atoms for Peace features Radiohead singer Thom Yorke (vocals, guitar, keyboards and programming), Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea (bass), longtime Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich (production and programming), Joey Waronker of Beck and R.E.M. (drums) and Mauro Refosco (percussion).
Lost in You – Petula Clark
80 year old Petula Clark needs little introduction. Her latest album is beautiful, notables tracks are a new version of Downtown and a cover of Gnarls Barkley‘s Crazy (yes, you read that right).
Dronescape 003 (waag_drs003) – Cousin Silas
The third instalment in this series from the master of the ambient soundscape Cousin Silas, who I also count as a friend I haven’t met yet. Another album released on the We Are All Ghosts netlabel. Note: there have now been more releases in this series.
Graffiti on the Train – Stereophonics
As I listened to their new album I put aside the usual ‘meat and potatoes’ criticism of this Welsh band. I’m pleased I did, as this is a fine piece of work in my humble opinion. I defy anyone to listen to the last track without a tear in the eye!
Sing to the Moon – Laura Mvula
A lovely album by the singer-songwriter from Birmingham, full of interesting and beautiful harmonies.
Pearl Mystic – Hookworms
A great debut album from this Leeds-based five-piece psych-rock band whose members eschew celebrity, being known simply by their initials. I came across this band when I heard them on BBC Radio 6 Music.
People, Hell & Angels – Jimi Hendrix
An excellent collection of studio rarities from the undisputed master of the electric guitar, definitely one for Hendrix fans out there. Not strictly speaking a 2013 record, but released this year.
Nanobots – They Might Be Giants
It’s hard to think of They Might Be Giants without thinking of their 1990 hit Birdhouse in Your Soul (watch on YouTube). Their latest offering is an idiosyncratic collection of 25 tracks in about 45 minutes. Maybe not everyone’s cup of tea, but definitely worth a listen.
The Next Day – David Bowie
David Bowie is one of my favourite musicians, and he never disappoints. A great new album, that came as quite a surprise when it was announced. Check out my post about it here.
Tooth & Nail – Billy Bragg
This is a beautiful downbeat and reflective album from the national treasure that is singer-songwriter Billy Bragg. I was pleased to meet him a couple of years ago at an event organised to celebrate the unity in diversity of Leicester following hatred stirred up by the racist EDL.
East (waag_rel021) – Cousin Silas
A second appearance in this list for Cousin Silas, a wonderful double album. Haunting synths, gentle lilting percussion, vibrant bass, intriguing field-recordings and vocal samples, and his guitar all come together in such an exemplary manner. Thomas Mathie
Please note: Albums listed in order of release. This is a work in progress (obviously).
This is a great video that captures the true meaning of Easter. Even if you’re not a person of faith or agnostic in your outlook, do give it a look as it has something to say about our world today. Best in full screen view. Oh, and there’s a great soundtrack – so turn the volume up! Happy Easter!
Note: You can find the full transcript of the video here.
There are certain albums that have become legendary and (quite possibly) changed the course of music history. The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is clearly one, but so is Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon which celebrates the 40th anniversary of its release in the UK today. I well remember buying this album in vinyl with its iconic gatefold sleeve, which I poured over as I listened to this amazing music for the first time, wondering what a EMS VCS 3 was! Nothing like this had been heard before.
Often referred to as DSOTM, it’s the ultimate concept album; moving (through its roughly 43 minutes) from birth to death, describing the human condition. It still speaks to us today, and I expect people will be listening to this album long into the future. Life, time, fear, madness, money, war, suffering, solitude, withdrawal, selfishness, relationships, breakdowns, fame, politics and (ultimately) death. Yet this merely touches the surface of what Pink Floyd manage to squeeze into this magnificent work. The themes are bleak and dark, yet the album is positive in the sense that it’s asking the listener to explore what it means to be human, to embrace our common humanity.
A moody photo of my son Philip taken about 18 months ago in Norwich (he refused to look at the camera), but I couldn’t resist a shot by that banner! Yesterday I received a telephone call from him to say he’d passed his final GP exams, it’s a tough and long road to become a fully qualified doctor! He studied at Oriel College, Oxford and Imperial College, London; as well as continuing to study as a hospital doctor and more recently in general practice. I’m a very proud dad!
I’ve recently registered a Blogger address which I’m currently developing, you can find it here. I’ll use it to complement this site with various bits and pieces. The title [looking for a certain ratio] is taken from the song The True Wheel by Brian Eno, on the 1974 album Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy). Here is the link to the song on Spotify. Incidentally, the name of the band A Certain Ratio also derives from this lyric.