Tuesday, July 13, 2004

I realised today, that I have not written much about the music I have been listening to lately. So first mention needs to go to an album, which has been around for a few months and has finally wormed it’s way into brain, it’s by the enigmatic Devendra Banhart and is called Rejoicing In The Hands. It’s a deceptively simple album, which combines mesmeric song writing and singing with hypnotic acoustic guitar melodies. As described by RLF in our shop it’s part Nick Drake, part early Marc Bolan with a bit of John Fahey thrown in for good measure, it’s unlike anything else that is around at the moment and is really wonderful.

Next something that was released in USA last year, but has only recently emerged over here, Michigan by Sufjan Stevens. I have mentioned before how much I enjoyed his Seven Swans album, by way of contrast the arrangements on Michigan are much more expansive, however the intensity of his writing is just the same. Apparently he plans to record an album about every state in the union, can’t really see that happening but this is a brilliant start to the project and is well worth your time.

Something a bit newer now, released this Monday is a mini album by Sigur Ros called Ba Ba Ti Ki Di Do, it’s 3 instrumental tracks take around 20 minutes to slip past you and very wonderful minutes they are too. I went for the vinyl option as it comes with all the tracks on one side, whilst the other side has some lovely artwork etched into the vinyl. They are band whose previous albums have made little impact on me, but these is a fine piece of work, if you like people like Boards Of Canada, then this is one for you.

Finally a couple of Jazz things, the 2nd part of Giles Peterson’s Impressed series came out recently and once again throws the spotlight of some overlooked British Jazz treats from the 1960’s and 70’s and proves that we can play jazz in this country despite what some people say. To confirm the point a wonderful live recording of the Charlie Watts “tentet” recorded at Ronnie Scott’s a few years ago had finally emerged. It’s full of joyous and brilliant playing. And yes it is THAT Charlie Watts, moonlighting from his day job as drummer with a band who may well be past their sell by date.


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