Every week, the 4fortyfour bloggers will come together to share their song of the week. It might not be a new song, it might not even be a song they like, but it will be the song that has provided the soundtrack to their week.
The Prairie Dawgs – ‘Drift Away’
I got a welcome surprise last week when the cd which had been stuck in the car stereo for a few months mysteriously ejected itself. Only a few days previously I emptied the car of all my cds having lost all hope of using my cd player in the car again. Anyway I quickly grabbed The Prairie Dawgs 2009 debut and gave it a spin. The rootsy folk music of The Prairie Dawgs was just what I needed in the first week of the new year. Drift Away is the song which impressed me most! If the snow keeps away from Dublin I’ll be in The Cobblestone on Saturday when they play the Tumbleweed Love Sessions gig of the year with David Hope!
James Blake – ‘Limit to your Love’
What with the BBC Sound of 2011 being revealed through drip feeds all week, on top of music bloggers on Twitter regularly talking about him being the saviour of music (since his album leaked before Christmas) you would be forgiven for thinking that music was awful before James Blake. It wasn’t, but it is certainly nice to have him lending his voice to proceedings. I was dismissive of Blake long before I heard the music. Indeed I thought he would go the way of Ellie Goulding. But then I actually took time to listen to him and was blown away. This track has been on regular repeat since the beginning of December. It is a cover of this Feist song and James Blake destroys it in the best way possible.
Tom McRae – ‘Summer of John Wayne’
On an evening in March I went along to Dolan’s Warehouse at the last minute where Tom McRae took to the stage for a free gig as part of his European tour to promote his 2010 studio album, The Alphabet of Hurricanes. McRae is an intelligent and immensely talented songwriter. His songs are well-crafted and narrative, and are accompanied by beautiful melodies that stay with you long after his songs have played out.
The highlight for me on the night was McRae’s performance of ‘Summer of John Wayne’, which carries a tender and disarmingly simple melody, yet is filled with beautiful and dark orchestration and a booming crescendo. Stunning. The Alphabet of Hurricanes is a constant feature on my iPod this week, particularly this song. It’s even my current alarm tone- what better way to be woken up eh?
We Cut Corners – ‘Easy’
There’s something just a little bit epic about We Cut Corners ‘Easy’: soaring choruses, political asides, self-evaluation and a hooky dual-vocal chorus that’s worthy of a wide armed, mammoth sing along. The unusual two-piece have been hovering around the Dublin music scene for some time, garnering plenty of praise for the expansive sound they draw from their relatively minimalist stage set up: like The White Stripes, but subtler and they both have talent. They’re a nailed on certainty to make a heftier mark on the scene this year, especially if this catchy brand of songwriting manages to catch a bit of radio play. For now, though, sit back and soak up a style of tight yet simplistic melodic rock that’s all too lacking in Ireland right now. We Cut Corners are currently enjoying their first Irish tour, and play The Workman’s Club on the 14th of January.
G-Side – ‘I’m Sorry’
Hunstville, Alabama is the place where Mars redirects its best hip hop from. G-Side are back, mercifully, this year with One…The Cohesive Album. Equally portions of Trill and What The Music Of Tron Should Have Sounded Like, One is an album designed to push hope,swagger and smoothness in the same direction.
Production crew, The Block Beataz, once again lay down their trademark thick spacey bounce for a Yung Clova and ST 2 Lettaz to spit mad game over. This song is just one in the space synth symphony of One and proves the South is still the real home of rap from the edges. I paid for this album on the first day of the year and have rarely felt better about a decision. Other rappers: there are 358 days left for you to top this.
A Lazarus Soul – ‘A Penthouse View’
The third album from A Lazarus Soul, Through a Window in the Sunshine Room, has been on repeat in the O’Rourke household for well over two weeks now. It’s a curious beast of a record, a departure from the tone and style of 2007’s Graveyard of Burnt Out Cars it manages to sound nothing like A Lazarus Soul record and yet one that only they (or he if that’s not too unfair on his co-conspirators) could produce.
Confused? ‘A Penthouse View’ encapsulates exactly what I mean. It also continues the ALS tradition of making the underbelly of Irish society sound far more interesting place than the Come Dine With Me themed dinner parties of the bourgeois. But don’t mind me, listen for yourself.
Amon Tobin -‘Bloodstone’
Creating music from samples is not a new idea: classical composers have been at it since the fifties, and electronica artists for over a decade. But that doesn’t mean its tired or overused: Amon Tobin’s 2007 Foley Room album, constructed almost entirely of self-made field recordings, proves it with every track. The addition of the Kronos Quartet makes Bloodstone more than just a minimalist piece of electronica, it transforms it into something strange and exciting. Even three years after its release, each listen is like a rediscovery. It may not be new, but I been listening constantly for almost four days now…