It’s the return of that monthly post in which Lis puts together a selection of songs that have caught her attention through the joys of iTunes shuffle. Don’t get too excited.
Well, that’s a cold, snowy January, full of unreliable public transport woes and more requests for documents than I’ve ever had in my life, over and done with. I appreciate that the second of these is hardly universal. I was impressed, at least, with the fact that my solicitor has developed an online secure platform through which you can send proof of identity by taking a picture of your passport with your iPhone. Truly, we are living in the future.
Now for a confession: I lied to you, a little. I do have a list of… not resolutions, as such, but certainly goals for 2015 written at the back of my diary. They’re not insurmountable, because I’m focusing more on achievements than goals this year so that I can look back in December and see evidence of the good stuff, as well as the bad. Anyway, one of them is that I resurrect these monthly mixtapes, and so here you go!
As for more “pissing about”? Well, I lost a day of work to anxiety this week, so clearly there’s plenty for me still to work on there. In my defence, they do say that buying a house is one of the most stressful things that you can ever do, so if you’re already prone to the brainweasels I can’t imagine that you would emerge completely unscathed. This week we also had to take the Big Man for his annual cardiology examination, which tends to stress us more than it stresses him (his heart is no worse, and we’ve been given a few extra things to watch out for, so that’s alright then). In related news, I cannot recommend the Small Animal Hospital at the Glasgow Uni Vet School enough: Biggie gets a little fractious when he’s being examined by vets and we’ve had a few highly-paid complainers who’d insist on sedating him, but the vets there were marvellous with him – no drugs required.
This week we should be signing missives on the house, and this month we should be doing very little but packing. I doubt it’ll work out that way, but we’ll see.
I Thought It Was Morning: last month’s mix, January 2015
1. Siobhan Wilson: “In The Bleak Red Rose” It feels inappropriate to call this gentle, acoustic track a “mash-up” but that’s exactly what the artist who may or may not now be calling herself Ella the Bird did with “In The Bleak Midwinter” and Rabbie Burns’ “My Luve Is Like a Red Red Rose” for blogging buddy Scottish Fiction’s Christmas EP back in 2012. The combination of chill and Burns makes this perfect for January. BUY IT.
2. Sleater-Kinney: “Surface Envy” Hands up who hasn’t soundtracked their January with the first album in nigh on a decade from the best band in the world? This track was an early favourite: a full-on “did-you-miss-us” rock-out, as I said in my Arts Desk review. BUY IT.
3. The Dø: “Keep Your Lips Sealed” The opening track on the Franco-Finnish duo’s third album is a staccato, insistent slice of electro-pop you won’t be able to get out of your head. PREORDER.
4. Le Thug: “Basketball Envy” There’s something quite stunning about the fact that Glasgow trio Le Thug can make music that is at once hazy, ethereal, and incredibly grounded. It’s something to do with the softness of Clio’s vocals and the thudding of the guitars and keys, and it’s nothing short of alchemy. The band’s new EP is out on frosted vinyl on Song, By Toad next month. PREORDER
5. Frankie Cosmos: “Art School” January means falling hard for that one album that was on everybody else’s end-of-year best-of list but which somehow passed you by. For me that was New York’s Frankie Cosmos, lo-fi pop goddess extraordinnaire. BUY IT.
6. Jesse Malin: “Addicted” It’s not the most original of riffs, sure – but it’s a return to music-making from the patron saint of this blog, and the first taste of March’s New York Before the War. BUY IT.
7. Restorations: “Separate Songs” It’s not groundbreaking: more like solid, soulful punk rock like the Gaslight Anthem used to make before they had designs on being the biggest band in the world. That’s what makes it great though. BUY IT.
8. Colour Me Wednesday: “I Thought It Was Morning” This is old-school indie pop that featured on some of these mixes way back around the time of its 2013 release, but the title track to that album also seemed like the perfect title track for this mix in the dark days of January. BUY IT.
9. Stars: “From The Night” If last year’s No One Is Lost passed me by a little, it was only because I needed to hear its tracks live to properly understand the beauty and abandon of its disco-flecked glitter-pop. BUY IT.
10. Emilyn Brodsky: “Born Again” I knew of this New Yorker from her collaborations with Franz Nicolay – who co-produced Emilyn Brodsky Eats Her Feelings, the album that this delicious track is taken from – but now I know that she is magnificent in her own right, I can’t wait to hear more. BUY IT.
11. Chrissy Barnacle: “Tree Rings” I was introduced to Chrissy Barnacle through her slot at Randolph’s Leap’s all-day show towards the end of last year, but since then I’ve barely gone a week without hearing somebody singing her praises. She’s a quirky Glasgow singer-songwriter, but not in the Manic Pixie Dream Girl-style use of the word as a replacement for a personality. You can pay what you want for most of her stuff on Bandcamp, and you really should. BUY IT.
12. Awna Teixeira: “Away We Go” Awna Teixeira is a Canadian roots artist, best known for her work with Po’Girl, who will be releasing her second solo album Wild One in March. Much of the album deals with her family’s experiences of mental illness, and Teixeira plans to donate some of the proceeds to her tour in support of the album to different mental health charities in the countries she will be performing in.
13. Hannah Lou Clark: “My Game” My friends and I fell a little in love with Hannah Lou Clark’s debut EP – recorded in her bedroom, above a Quaker meeting house, apparently – towards the end of last year. So we’ll be hosting her first Glasgow show next month, and it’s going to be magnificent. BUY IT.
14. digitalanalogue: “Cafe Royal” digitalanalogue is in fact Ian from Broken Records, and he’ll be releasing an instrumental album with Song, By Toad records in March. If it’s as good as this track, which appeared on the label’s free Magic Beanz sampler on Christmas Day, it’ll be very good indeed.
15. Franz Nicolay: “I Had A Good Time Tonight” See, if I was any sort of blogger at all I’d be including something from the newly-released To Us, The Beautiful! on the mix corresponding to this month. But I’ve found myself returning to this beautiful outtake from the 2012 Do The Struggle instead, because grown-up relationships are the best. BUY IT.
DOWNLOAD: I Thought It Was Morning [68.9MB, zipped mp3s]