Playlist 08.09.17 : Five Songs for the Weekend

Playlist 08.09.17 : Five Songs for the Weekend
Playlist 08.09.17 : Five Songs for the Weekend
Playlist 08.09.17 : Five Songs for the Weekend

U.N.K.L.E – Have You Looked at Yourself; Farewell

When James Lavelle ran hip 1990s label Mo’ Wax, his genre-busting UNKLE project called on stars from Thom Yorke to Ian Brown, before Lavelle’s career nosedived in a blizzard of cocaine. Today, the guest list – ranging from soul singer Eska to Tricky-like rapper Elliott Power – isn’t so starry, but it is effective, and Mark Lanegan delivers the strings-soaked symphonic goth of Looking for the Rain with typical aplomb.

Elsewhere, Lavelle’s bankruptcy has brought reflection. UNKLE’s cinematic first album in seven years opens with actor Brian Cox asking, “Have you thought about the mistakes you’ve made?”

Eska and the Duke Spirit’s Liela Moss purr the title track and Sunrise Always Comes Around into, respectively, a Chemical Brothers-type psychedelic haze and trancey bliss, although No Where to Run/Bandits pales in comparison to UNKLE’s own rock on 2007’s War Stories. However, the gentler Stole Enough, Sick Lullaby and sublime Farewell, with their ghostly piano notes and dreamlike moods of contemplation – suggest that Lavelle’s road is heading the right way.

Read the rest of this article at The Guardian

Alex Cameron – Stranger’s Kiss (Duet with Angel Olsen)

On its surface,“Stranger’s Kiss,” the new duet between Australian singer Alex Cameron and Angel Olsen, is deceptively slick. The driving guitar, explosive alto sax, and four-on-the-floor drums are radiant, but that stands in stark contrast to the story’s dingy reality. Here, Cameron plays a character who may be “king of the neighborhood,” but only because an eagle shit on him. No, really.

On his last album, Jumping the Shark, Cameron presented an array of character sketches depicting the personas people project to avoid confronting a nastier truth. He continues exploring that theme in “Stranger’s Kiss,” with a boastful lout who refuses to articulate his dissatisfaction. “This run of good luck don’t got me feeling all that good” he sings, his affected delivery undercutting the complaint.

Olsen plays the pragmatic ex-lover who can see right through him. While her performance is almost derisive, infusing lines about “memes” made in “her legacy” with a mock seriousness, her exaggerated tone shifts the song closer to a joke. Olsen works well within this mode of satire, bringing levity to the song. But Cameron doesn’t want to rest on just irony, and by the end you feel pretty sorry for the phony he plays.

Read the rest of this article at Pitchfork

Wiki – Mayor

It’s not often I hear an album that already sounds like a classic. If that seems a trite way to start a review then you obviously haven’t heard ‘No Mountains in Manhattan’ yet. This is rapper Wiki’s solo debut, his first release with XL Recordings — after a prolific few years making and releasing music with the RATKING collective and on his own Letter Racer label — and if it doesn’t blow up then there really is no justice in music.

It’s not just that the record is good — in the sense that it holds together as a coherent album, and Wiki can spit (I could listen all day to that signature mean, sexy flow and his voice that sounds as if its been grazed on a New York pavement). ‘No Mountains in Manhattan’ is clever too, with little nods to old school hip-hop (in the break before the bass drop on ‘Islander’, for example) and to New York City as represented in popular culture (the movie Mean Streets on ‘Islander’ again, Seinfeld on ‘Elaine’).

There are the cameos from Ghostface Killah (‘Made for This’), Your Old Droog (‘Litt 15’), Lakutis (‘Nutcrackers’) and singer Evy Jane on my favourite track, ‘Pandora’s Box’, a touching, honest reminiscence on lost love from both sides of the experience. The messy ‘Chinatown Swing’, with those grimy beats produced by Wiki’s long-term collaborator Sporting Life, is another stand out track.

Like all great works, the layers of ‘No Mountains…’ reveal themselves on repeat listens. The extended metaphor — the skyline of Manhattan becomes the mountain at the end of the penultimate, eponymous track — is more than it first seems as the ‘mountain’ becomes both a physical and conceptual symbol for city life, and Wiki’s life so far. The composition of the tracks give way to rhythmic peaks and flows, and while there isn’t a story as such, the narrative sense of journey makes this record as much literature as it is music.

Read the rest of this article at Loud And Quiet

Brand New – Waste

Rock bands used to be mysterious organizations. Fandom was an exercise in extreme patience. You whiled away the hours in monk-like private study of records, lyrics, and liner notes. A new song or video or interview hit like a scientist’s “eureka” moment, offering a new lens through which to explore familiar worlds more closely. But there were weeks and months where you heard nothing and pure enthusiasm and hope had to suffice. This was decades before bands sagely buttered all their favorite publications with access and exclusives come album time, before every inch of every performance was broadcast to the world across intersecting planes of social media. I miss the quiet of the ’90s sometimes, and I have a funny feeling a lot of working musicians do too, now that everyone feels the same icy pressure to inflate every album release into a multimedia event.

It seems increasingly obvious that Brand New — the Long Island emo quartet turned inscrutable art-rock project responsible for both Alt-Press–core nuggets like “Sic Transit Gloria … Glory Fades” and the windswept, nihilist rock of The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me — favors a bare-bones, old-school rock stardom. Brand New appears and disappears as it pleases. It no longer bothers with official merch or music videos. Tours and interviews are scarce. For a while now, singer-songwriter Jesse Lacey has been saying that his band’s days are numbered, but this month, a vinyl preorder for the long-awaited fifth Brand New album appeared and sold out in a blink, and lucky fans were blindsided with hard copies of the thing in the mail. By week’s end, the new Science Fiction was available for purchase, closing the eight-year gap since 2009’s Daisy without a hint of what it means for Brand New’s present or future.

Read the rest of this article at Vulture

Mount Kimbie – Delta

Mount Kimbie’s first new album in four years, Love What Survives, is due for release on the 8th of September. We’ve previously heard the band’s thrilling collaborations with King Krule (“Blue Train Lines”) and Micachu (“Marilyn”), and now we’re being gifted a music video for new single “Delta”.

The song’s ambient intro soon gives way to a pulsing beat and bursts of dissonance that evoke a speeding train’s violent air horn. Midway through, the song takes on a more ponderous, melancholy tone. The accompanying video, directed by longtime Mount Kimbie collaborator Frank Lebon, is a heist film in miniature chronicling the emotional stress of a young man engaging in a botched bank robbery. Watch it above.

“We follow Milson Pulse on 21/05/17; the day he is convinced to plan and take part in a robbery lead by his girlfriend,” Lebon says in a statement. “It is also the day Milson goes missing. On a journey through his fragile mind Milson experiences chameleonic spasms during the stress he is under. I like to believe that Milson Pulse came to the conclusion a change is as good as a rest.”

Read the rest of this article at Consequence of Sound

P.S. previous PLAYLISTS & more by P.F.M. // Top images: @oh.kathie, @federicola, @purpurpurpur