Thursday, 10 April 2014

Midweek Mixtape #1

Hello and welcome to the first weekly round-up of what's currently on my musical plate. I figured recently that I have a pretty hormonal taste in music – it shifts between three or four different genres every week, never mind every month! And though I like to give a weekly taster of what hidden gem I think you should also love (every Sunday, if you didn't know), this brief midweek snapshot should (hopefully) help you unearth some more great music that you might not have heard. Enjoy!

Jamie Hamilton – Circles

Woozy, ethereal, electronic sounds swirl their way around Jamie Hamilton's tender voice and soft acoustic guitar in Circles. The singer-songwriter's debut album is a quirky record full of missteps designed to throw you off course – Oceans for instance boasts an electronic wig-out to close out a seemingly acoustic ballad. But it's Hamilton's sleazy, blissful vocals which are the main constant in Circles, which never fails to surprise and often delights.

Talisman - Run Come Girl

Talisman are a Bristol-based reggae group who originally disbanded in the 1980s, before their seemingly forgotten music was rediscovered and reissued by Bristol Archive Records in 2011, before the group reunited in 2013 for a string of live dates and a triumphant reunion album. Their story doesn't end there though - but more on that on Sunday, when they will be our album of the week! Run Come Girl is a melodic, harmonica-led highlight complete with a dub-inspired breakdown towards the end. A must listen.

The Lijadu Sisters – Life Is Gone Down Low

For anyone fortunate enough to have attended the recent live celebrations of William Onyeabor's music, with the only two performances in Bristol and London, they were joyous occasions of the hidden gem of gems. But one pleasant surprise from the shows was the live return of The Lijadu Sisters, two Nigerian twins who haven't performed live for some thirty years. Still, I suppose that beats William Onyeabor's record of having never performed his music live. Life Is Gone Down Low is a beautiful slice of afro-pop and a real live highlight – no mean feat when you're up against the likes of this.

Kyla La Grange – Cut Your Teeth

Emerging from the folk-rock driven sounds of her debut album Ashes, Kyla La Grange reappeared earlier this year with the sultry electronic vibes of Cut Your Teeth. With it's sparse arrangement and Kyla's soft, whispered vocals dominating, its one of the pop songs of the year so far. A brave, bold change in direction for Kyla, but judging from the reaction to this so far, it's a step that has been worth taking.

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