Waxahatchee, perfect for days when you need your aching sadness accompanied by indie folk and a comforting drawl. Stripped down to the basics of six strings and a single heartbreaking, cracked vocal, Catfish is the saddest song I’ve heard in a long while. This is singer-songwriter Katie Crutchfield at her most raw. Other musical offerings from Waxahatchee are more cheerful and I’d recommend checking out both LP’s Cerulean Salt and American Weekend. For now though, here’s Catfish.
“You’re a ghost and I can’t breathe”
In honour of her appearance at Glastonbury this weekend (a full live set in The Rum Shack), here’s the brilliant Kate Tempest.
Tempest first made her name as a spoken word artist and poet, though according to her label she would describe herself as a rapper who writes. She’s pretty big in the poetry world, winning the prestigious Ted Hughes Prize for her play, Brand New Ancients, and generally being the poster girl for young British poetry. She’s released a single on Greco-Roman and been featured on numerous tracks with people like Bastille and Sinead O’Connor. After a few years of treading the edges of the mainstream, Tempest cemented her cross-over by signing to hip hop label Big Dada and releasing a full length album, Everybody Down, in May this year.
And it’s bloody good.
Blunt, witty lines race over hip hop beats as her stories of everyday people and London lives unfold. There’s little in the way of melodic vocal hooks, this is rap…with a lot of bass. Each of the twelve tracks on the album is a chapter, another story, with a mosaic of fully grown characters and rich drama.
Here’s your gateway track – The Beigeness.
This one came via The Editor who suggested Van Etten’s music would be a sweet balm for my woes. He was right.
The indie rock singer-songwriter manages to imbue almost every line and riff with intense emotion. Her four album back catalogue is filled with stark stories of relationships and wonderfully drawling yet velvety vocals. This is one of my favourite tracks.
Oh and she’s doing a UK mini tour in November 2014, tickets went on sale today. Road trip anyone?
Please take 5 minutes out of your day to rejoice in the amusing and faintly ridiculous Ukulele Anthem as played on a 4 string joy-bringer by Amanda Palmer. You have to respect a song writer who manages to get the words rosary, vibrator and fruitloops into the same song. It’s even more epic than The Darkness squeezing ‘extracurricular activities’ into Friday Night.
A recently discovered love, courtesy of Sister Ray of Soho, Real Estate’s third studio album is a perfect accompaniment to the dusky end of a beach barbeque. Atlas provides easy going, melodic guitars and melancholic vocals in a New Jersey surf rock style. If you’re looking for loud, Real Estate are not your final destination but it is rather soothing for the ears. Here’s a live version of the album’s opening track, setting the tone for the record.
Warpaint have been around for a while (about a decade-ish) and this is not a new track but it was my gateway song and the video is quite cute and sunny too.
American indie rock with delicious lady harmonies that have a hint of nostalgia. Just lush.
Ezra Furman (sadly no relation to the band Better than Ezra) and his band The Boy-Friends lay out a chilled, fun rock ‘n’ roll with added brass. Happy, jig-about-in-your-seat kind of brass. The lyrics are equally as entertaining and mildly angry too.
And this one too..