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What we’re listening to this week #16

This week’s playlist has a bit of a travel theme. Here’s Andy, our playlist curator, to introduce the tunes that make up this week’s Design Bridge soundtrack.

WWLTTW #16

Welcome Listeners, Wanderlusters, Musical Nomads.

We’re off around the world again, like some poor remix of a Status Quo song.

It’s a journey full of dread and danger, so stop here if you were expecting it all to be like Top of the Pops 2, “Cause hope, boys, is a cheap thing, cheap thing”.

Tales of the mid-West; “…narcolepsy, drug addiction, soccer scholarships, cabinet building, crushed fingers and hog farming…” Some might say that these are good reasons to stay away from Minnesota. On the other hand, this is a great debut from a Minneapolis-raised guitar-er. Now everyone will want to be a guitar-er. Listen to Frankie Lee – Where Do We Belong? on audioBoom.

From the mid-West to West Africa for another hit of infectious pop, as suggested by Ivan. The video is obviously intended to allow the star to show off her obviously extensive and diverse wardrobe. Of course, it could be that the budget was blown on the costumes, which would explain a lot about the quality of the direction. Yemi Alade – Tangerine ft. Selebobo:

London. Fade to someone mixing things up in the kitchen sink. The Guardian describing them as “somewhere between Roxy Music and The Strokes, The Killers and Kanye West, Pulp and Frank Sinatra”. The hero hesitates before drinking from the heady cocktail; “…the ways that we show our love, bonding over hating people and prescription meds…” Admittedly, it doesn’t sound too cheery, but this indie guitar outing manages to be uplifting, even if it doesn’t have many laughs. Spector – Stay High:

New York. An anthem for the gossips and backstabbers among you; “Hey! Psst PSST! Here she comes now. Oh, you know her, would you look at that hair.” So dull, dahlings. Blondie – Rip Her T o Shreds:

Still in New York. “…awesome and eccentric bedroom recordings…eventually find a full band to amplify the scope of your distortion-driven freak-outs…(Ellen) Kempner’s own particularly off-kilter melodic sensibility shines through”. Also described as “Lo-fi production, trebly guitar tones and a casual attitude towards tuning”, and yet it still manages to live up to the glories of ‘ear food’. Palehound – Molly:

We don’t want to make you feel small, but these Kiwi indiepop ‘greats’ might be trying to bring you down. “For it’s a small world after all – a lonely little blue and white ball, and the universe yawns at our plans”. Just kidding – it’s toe-tappingly brilliant to make up for the “We’re doomed” message. Here is The Chills – America Says Hello:

“What are you afraid of?” Here’s someone who feels highly confrontational and intimidating. You should invite them along to your next cheese and wine party, or whatever passes for entertainment these days. Here’s Peaches – Bodyline:

Norwich, UK. Be afraid. Be very afraid. No, seriously, these terror twins are doubly spooky. An “experimental young duo” playing “psychedelic rag-doll sludge pop”.

“Their first song, ‘Get Off the Banister’, was inspired when Hollingworth’s mum told them to get off the banister. Soon their songs started getting more meaningful, ranging in subject from alarm clocks to Rapunzel and the unconscious mind.” Also described as “Lorde meets Kate Bush meets those evil twins from The Simpsons”. This is the stuff of nightmares. If you dare, listen to Deep Six Text Book – Let’s Eat Grandma:

Back in New York again. Somewhere off Manhattan Chase. This is possibly the most theatrical of The Dame’s oeuvre, full of dramatic posturing and false endings. Swirling, stagey, overlong and overblown (Warning: this is not three minute pop). By the time we reach the climax, David’s gone all Anthony Newley* on us. David Bowie – Sweet Thing / Candidate / Sweet Thing (Reprise):

Hollywood via East London. *Anthony Newley? An English actor, singer and songwriter, married to the actress Joan Collins (‘You’re not you when you’re hungry’, ad fans). With Leslie Bricusse he wrote “Feeling Good” (Nina Simone / Muse) and the film score to the original Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. He also wrote the title song of 1964 film Goldfinger with John Barry. That’s quite a CV, and this is Anthony Newley – Once in a Lifetime/ Gonna Build a Mountain/ What Kind of Fool Am I:

Australia. Jane asks us to think back to 1987. Is it even possible without a history book, Wikipedia, or an “I Love The Eighties” documentary? If you can cast your mind back this far, you may have forgotten the big sax solo, the lyrics from Michael Hutchence that feel so poignant with hindsight, and the big stadium arm waving. Glorious stuff. Not sure if we like the idea of our tears being turned into wine, but the thought of us all having wings is interesting. What are you going to do with yours? Inxs – Never Tear Us Apart:

And we’re home again, safe and sound before tea time. Maybe those wings came in handy after all?

Sources: concrete-online.co.uk, nme.com, pitchfork.com, theguardian.com, wikipedia.com

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What we’re listening to this week #15

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What we’re listening to this week #17