I’ve decided to start doing weekly summaries of what I’ve been listening to in the hope that someone else finds something new that they like or has also been listening to similar music.
1. In the Future – David Byrne
Falling under the long-established category of middle-aged-white-men-dispensing overly-grandiose-but-ultimately-endearing advice on life from their cultural ivory tower (think William S Burroughs’ ‘Words of Advice for Young People’ and Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen’), David Byrne ruminates about the future. In 1985. He’s not far off.
‘In the future it will be next to impossible to tell girls from boys, even in bed’
‘In the future half of us will be mentally ill’
‘In the future water will be expensive’
‘In the future there will be machines which will produce a religious experience in the user’
‘In the future TV will be so good that the printed word will function as an art form only’
It’s typical Byrne-Dadaist quasi-nonsense and not meant to be taken too seriously but as usual you can’t help but feel as though there’s just a bit of perceptive foresight to be found in-between the lines. As though Byrne is poking fun at a society perpetually off their tits on consumerism, anti-depressants and satellite TV. Constantly searching where to get their next fix.
It’s a song to cynically stop around a suburban shopping centre to. No one else sees reality quite like you do.
If you like this, watch this.
2. Space 4 – Nala Sinephro
I stumbled across this on the radio last week and it is truly something else. A dreamy wandering ambient jazz track which I looped for forty minutes and didn’t realise. Interstellar. It has that amazing quality of being able to reveal something new with every listen. If this song was an image it would be akin to watching an August sunset fall on a hazy coastline as people slowly plodded home arm in arm. So beautifully intoxicating. Sinephro also recorded this at 22 which is just ridiculous given its sophistication and subtlety.
One to listen to when deep thinking or on a long train journey.
3. Too Late Now – Wet Leg
I heard this on Radio 6 in the car last week and have had it bouncing about in my head since. For the first 90 seconds think teenage girls, night after high-school graduation. California. Daddy’s convertible. Perfect teeth. Slow-motion. But then it changes. The wry cynicism and recklessness kicks in and I find myself making an omelette in the kitchen reciting the Digital Generation’s answer to Simone de Beauvoir:
‘I don’t need no dating app to tell me if I look like crap/To tell me if I’m thin or fat, to tell me should I shave my rat/I don’t need no radio, no MTV, no BBC/I just need a bubble bath to set me on a higher path’.
Three-and-a-half-minutes of self-assured and, dare I say at points, profound indie pop. It hits the spot.
Listen to this when smashing plates or cleaning up the mess afterwards.
4. This Deed – Electrelane
Electrelane are probably my favourite band ever. I found this when I felt like I was teetering on permanently exhausting their discography and decided have a hunt through their singles. It sounds a bit like a misanthropic twilight walk in the graveyard your mum refuses to step foot in. You’re wearing a duffle coat, wellies and chain-smoking. Totally rationally planning revenge on your ex and casting spells. The lyrics are German for no other reason other than it just sounds cooler. I translated them into English and they’re pretty oblique (‘This deed is still more distant/From them than the most distant stars/And yet they have done it themselves!/Hands up!’) Apparently it’s inspired by a line from Nietzsche’s The Gay Science, which doesn’t surprise me at all. Not sure what this means but it’s an epic midwinter head-bopper nevertheless.
Listen when plotting world domination or getting really angsty on the cross trainer.