Recommending tunes was always meant to be the real reason for this blog existing, and I realised today that I’ve not done that for a bit. So…
A couple of weeks back, BBC 6Music‘s ‘Roundtable‘ played a track from the Bon Iver album, ‘For Emma, Forever Ago’ which ticked all of those completely subconscious boxes that simply cause your ears to tingle and your heart to race. I quickly purchased a copy of said album and was not disappointed. It’s hard to describe the quirky voice that ebbs and flows across the album’s nine tracks. If Elbow staged a coup of Arcade Fire, it might sound a bit like this. Or not. It’s lovely. Go here, and choose ‘Skinny Love’. Then go here and click ‘Add to Shopping Cart’. Or, if you’re an eMusicer then it’s here, with a bonus track.
Ever since I heard Mark Radcliffe play ‘Fat As A Fiddle’, I’ve been wanting to hear the new album by Chris Difford (you know, him out of Squeeze… no, the other one.) Rather brilliantly titled, ‘The Last Temptation of Chris’ is a beautiful little album full of melodic reflections on life from the other side of your fiftieth birthday. If you love Teenage Fanclub‘s ‘Songs From Northern Britain‘ then you should really treat yourself to this one.
Here is the aforementioned single (“Now I have tits, just like my mum”) while the album is knocking about with free delivery here.
The Sea and Cake are not exactly a groundbreaking discovery, but they’re new to me. I heard them on Gideon Coe‘s show last week and was smitten. They have a slightly jazzy, soulful but acoustic feel and clearly love a good pop melody. If you look them up on places like Allmusic then you’ll find that the members of the band were originally in lots of bands you’ve never heard of. Not that you need to now, as I’ve just told you. Anyway, I now own three of their albums and don’t intend stopping there. You can hear tracks from the most recent, and deeply charming, album ‘Everybody‘ here. Part with cash here.
Finally, an extra mention for Malcolm Middleton, who I surely must have talked about in the past. Hmm, he’s not in the tags. How remiss of me. He’s ace, to put it simply. Because he’s a truly splendid man, you can listen to all of his latest stuff for free over at that there last.fm place. In particular, go for ‘Blue Plastic Bags’, a strikingly bleak, but ever-so-wry, take on British life. “The whole world’s going home with blue plastic bags. Six bottles of Stella, Jacob’s Creek and twenty fags.” This track’s just come out as a blue vinyl 7″, although you should treat yourself to the parent album, ‘Sleight Of Heart’.