Sunday 28 July 2019

Les Milous - Annie Hall

Jerky and jangly like Josef K with a surf guitar motif and a fun-sized melody played on what can only be a child’s keyboard. This excellent single doesn’t so much have a genre as see Les Milous - the mysterious one-man band JH, recorded in a Stockholm flat - grab whatever the hell he wants and make it work together.

Whatever it's doing, Annie Hall blurs the line between avant-garde and naive art and is all the better for it.

I can’t offer any insights into the lyrics, but I can say with some confidence that the words “Annie” and “Hall” are used at various points. Stare too long and you’ll fall over. Listen once and you’ll fall in love.

Want it? Act fast. UK buyers head to Low Company.

Sunday 21 July 2019

Lachlan Denton & Studio Magic - A Brother

During sessions of sweet silent thought Lachlan Denton summons remembrance of his brother Zachary (“quiet and painfully shy”), his bandmate in Ciggie Witch and The Ocean Party, who died last year at the age of 24.

A Brother is a profoundly moving, emotionally bruising and tender album about love, loss and the unbreakable ties that bind their relationship (“I carry your songs, your blood runs through me”).

The songs are elegies (“a brother and best friend, I love you to the end), they’re tributes and desperately devotional. Over the album’s course, the joys of companionship are contrasted with grief (“this Christmas I won’t be alone, I’ll be with the ones you loved so much”) in an episodic invocation of a life of love and friendship.

How Lachlan has responded so eloquently, so quickly, with such grace suggests not only the love but that their relationship, and Zac himself, offered so rich a palette that inspiration appeared readily.

A Brother doesn’t exactly lay waste to the Dentons’ back catalogue, but it’s better - more powerful, fresher, rawer - than what’s come before. Musically, it rubs shoulders with Wilco’s best. On love and loss, it’s there with Blood On The Tracks and Tonight’s The Night.

This is a record that had to be made. Without A Brother, all that’s left in death is silence. With A Brother, which will live long, there is celebration.

Wednesday 17 July 2019

Oroskällan ‎– Oroskällans musikaliska resa i tro, missmod och fantasi

Imagine The Wicker Man soundtrack played by the inpatients of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest after they've flung themselves down Alice's rabbit hole to chase impossible dreams. I don't know if I'm frightened by it or enchanted by its wyrdness. Either way I'm held hostage by its dark powers.

Oroskällan are an acid folk band from Gothenburg. If any of them have day jobs, I'm absolutely certain they'd fail every random drugs test. Their music is hypnotic and cryptic and spellbinding. Maybe there's a 1970s Swedish children's animation where all the kids are kidnapped by a religious cult then sacrificed to a pagan god. And this is the soundtrack.

Part horror noir, part disturbing fairy tale and full-time mind-fuck on psychedelia's fried fringes, this is the sort of album that cratediggers can only dream about disinterring from the private pressing graveyard. But it's brand new.