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What we’re listening to this week #33

Andy is on a mission to get us, our clients and our friends all thinking about music and sound differently. So each week he curates our WWLTTW playlist. Sometimes there’s a theme, and this week it’s all about the element of surprise. Here’s what we’re listening to this week…


A life of surprises. (Actually more like a Baker’s Dozen of surprises, but that would spoil the surprise).

Depending on your view, surprises are a good thing:
“Life still has a whole lot of surprises for me”.
Loretta Lynn

Or alternatively, they can be a bit ‘Meh’:
“Surprises are foolish things. The pleasure is not enhanced, and the inconvenience is often considerable”.
Jane Austen

So let’s see if we can surprise you enough to say to yourself, “That’s alright, isn’t it?” in the most convenient way we can.

(Spoiler alert: we won’t be jumping out at you and shouting “Surprise!”)

Surprise #1
Do you enjoy “retro-futuristic killers”? Then this might be one for you (we surprises ourselves by not being able to turn it off). Palms Trax – High Point On Low Ground:

Surprise #2
Hugh enthusiastically recommends this catchy blues/soul band – so effusively that we’ve included two tracks. Firstly, “A Southern rock/soul/funk/blues jam band from Jacksonville, Florida”. And who doesn’t love a bit of rock/soul/funk/blues? JJ Grey & Mofro – The Sun Is Shining Down:

JJ Grey & Mofro – Orange Blossoms:

Surprise #3
The UK had its own Elvis; Ronald Wycherley “equalled the Beatles’ record of 24 hits in the 1960s, and spent 332 weeks on the UK chart, (but without a chart-topping single or album)”. Curl that lip, Ron, you’re so on trend (see: WWLTTW #3f***ing2). Billy Fury – A Thousand Stars:

Surprise #4
No real surprise. Except it’s not such a happy song:
“Just say that you were happy as happy would allow
And tell yourself that will have to do for now”.

Obviously some of Jane Austen’s mates. Prefab Sprout – A Life of Surprises:

Surprise #5
Mink DeVille was one of the original house bands at CBGB, the New York nightclub where punk rock music was born in the mid 1970s; “The whole band only got $50 dollars a night”. Willy DeVille doesn’t look like he really fits the 1977 scene, but don’t forget that this is what most people looked like back then (the band could be extras in 1977’s Saturday Night Fever). Think you’re so slick? Mink Deville – Spanish Stroll:

Surprise #6
Italian Rock’n’Roll? “Stripping the history of glam rock for parts and using what’s left to build a new souped-up rock & roll machine…an Italian rock band whose songs merge the hard-stomping sound of “junk shop glam” acts like Slade, Mud, and the Sweet” – and a dose of Status Quo to boot. Just don’t ask what the lyrics mean. GIUDA – Roll The Balls:

Surprise #7
You will be nodding your head in time to the beat by half way through. Guaranteed. References our good friend Johnnie Walker. George Thorogood – I Drink Alone:

Surprise #8
This “electropop duo has revealed a…sultry number with dancehall undertones”. We thought that this made it sound a bit more intriguing than it actually is, but jolly catchy nonetheless. AlunaGeorge – I’m In Control:

Surprise #9
For those of you who do not believe in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy, there can be no surprises. “Let me out of here”. Radiohead – No Surprises:

Surprise #10
Unexpected catchiness from this fantastic tune suggestion from regular listener @juniorbuzzard; “young desert blues punk band from Timbuktu, Mali. The band were exiled to Bamako during the recent unrest”. Brilliant stuff. Songhoy Blues – Soubour:

Surprise #11
…“steeped in America’s West Coast musical history…a sad, lonely, beautiful, ambitious piece of music, which also just happens to sound like the most perfect song in the world right now”. Because we want you to be listening to the most perfect songs. Whitney – No Woman:

Surprise #12
OK. We realise that we are fooling ourselves if we think we can surprise you. This is sort of raw; “Expressing your anger is positive”, but also surprisingly tuneful. If you’re in London then you’ve just got time to catch them at The Lexington, Jan 28 (sorry if you miss this tip, we’ll try to give you more notice in future). Dilly Dally – Desire:

Surprise #13
More beautiful surprises in this piece of ingenuity. “Felix Thorn builds machines…specialises in de-constructing real-life objects and creating new experiences with movement, music and light…the music-performing machines…exist to test the advantages of mechanical instruments”. Felix’s Machines:

More at:

Enough surprises. You can have too much excitement.

But, if Hugh can surprise us, and @juniorbuzzard, imagine what you can do.

Sources: Wikipedia,,,,,

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