Note: I’m spending the weekend at Open Ear (far, far away from laptops and wi-fi) so this is a mini New Music Round-Up to hold you over until I come back!
Five of my favourite tracks added to the Back Before Dark: New Music playlist in the past week plus a quick album recommendation. Pictured: Fins Ara
Fins Ara – Veer
Londoner Fins Ara‘s ‘Veer’ is an eerily beautiful anthem about a struggle to be with someone you love. It’s the first of three new tracks which will be released in the coming months. The most delicate and heart-breaking track of the week.
Mr. Jukes feat. Charles Bradley – Grant Green
Bombay Bicycle Club going on hiatus may be the best thing that’s ever happened to Jack Steadman. Now releasing as Mr. Jukes, he released the amazing ‘Angels/Your Love’ a while back and has now followed it up with another stellar soul outing featuring the legendary Charles Bradley.
The Darker the Shadow the Brighter the Light – In My Head
After a few mysterious tracks appeared on Mike Skinner’s SoundCloud page under the name The Darker the Shadow the Brighter the Light, I was intrigued to see what the former frontman of The Streets was up to. The band now has a handful of tracks out but details are fairly scarce. ‘In My Head’ is a homage to ‘Could Be Well In’, written for Alexa Chung and also my favourite Skinner track since The Streets.
Jarami – Fredonia Drive
Swedish production duo Jarami released their Sketches EP a couple of weeks ago and it is laden with woozy, smooth house grooves. The full EP is well worth checking out as they incorporate interesting tropical samples into their music, infusing it with an ethereal feelgood atmosphere.
James Vincent McMorrow – National
Not even a year after the release of We Move, James Vincent McMorrow has made a surprise return with True Care. The album doesn’t sound remotely rushed, though, reaching the high standards set by his past releases. ‘National’ is my favourite from the record, a smooth piano ballad which is something that McMorrow excels at.
The Heliocentrics – A World of Masks
I’ll start with a warning that The Heliocentrics‘ A World of Masks won’t be to everybody’s taste. It’s an incredibly experimental record which incorporates psyche, funk, jazz and electronica to create a rather formidable atmosphere. Fans of Sun Ra will appreciate the classical nuances of the album but they also incorporate some trip-hop sounds from time to time.
A World of Masks is very much an album that needs to be enjoyed on headphones. Given the delicate balances it strikes, some of the magic is lost on speakers. The variety of influences is quite staggering and you are likely to find little hints of every genre under the sun at some stage of the album. It’s little wonder that it demands your full attention.
Possibly the most leftfield recommendation I’ve ever made on the blog, A World of Masks is a worthy listen for the more adventurous music fan. Let me know what you think in the comments!