Forthcoming from Suede

Somehow – call it middle-age, or more likely, just sheer music overload – I missed the fact that Suede have a new album coming out in September. Their eighth album is entitled The Blue Hour, and will be released on September 21.

The tracklisting is as follows:

1. As One
2. Wastelands
3. Mistress.
4. Beyond The Outskirts
5. Chalk Circles
6. Cold Hands
7. Life Is Golden
8. Roadkill
9. Tides
10. Don’t Be Afraid If Nobody Loves You
11. Dead Bird
12. All The Wild Places
13. The Invisibles
14. Flytipping

You can stream the first two tracks to be made available below, ‘The Invisibles’ and ‘Don’t Be Afraid If Nobody Loves You,’ which suggest that this may be one of Suede’s best albums if the rest of the album is of this quality…

Album Review – Cowboy Junkies

Cowboy Junkies – ‘All That Reckoning.’ (Proper)

It may come as a bit of a surprise to realise that Cowboy Junkies has released over fifteen albums over the course of their career. This year marks thirty years since the release of their second album The Trinity Session, which, though recorded on single microphone, went on to sell over a million copies. Though there are many bands who combine blues, folk and country, this Canadian band’s approach remains unique, and still beguiling. It may start with Margo Timmins’ voice – but that’s just part of the picture.

Like one of Canada’s other great musical exports, Neil Young (whose song ‘Powerfinger’ the band covered on their third album, 1990’s The Caution Horses), there’s something very affecting about the use of the opening song, ‘All That Reckoning’ re-appearing in far more electrifying form towards the end of the record (see what Young did with ‘Rockin’ In The Free World’ on 1989’s Freedom). Though the opening is a slow and heavy blues, the ‘Part 2′ version’ continues at the same speed but with an intensity that evokes Sonic Youth or Dinosaur Jr, maybe even Swans, without sounding anything like those acts, and somehow manages to sound utterly contemporary.

It’s their first album since the four part Nomad series that appeared in stages at the start of the decade. Like many other acts, looking what is happening south of the Canadian border, the album takes a personal and political stance. On ‘The Things We Do To Each Other’ they deliver one of the most potent lines of the Trump presidential era: ‘Fear is not so far from hate, so if you get the folks to fear, it only takes one small twist to kick it up a gear.’ Gulp. Along with the next two songs that follow on the album ‘Wooden Stairs’ and ‘Sing Me A Song’ the band remind you that, actually, they know how to rock, too, thankfully without resorting to cliché. Should you be looking formore of a mellower sound, ‘Mountain Stream’ and the closing ‘The Possessed’ offer it in spades.

So, yes, it’s definitely a Cowboy Junkies album. It’s certainly not trying to make another album in the vein of one of those aforementioned records from their earlier years. It’s a record which shows that a band who have been together without a lineup change since before their first album can continue to innovate and explore. As anyone who likes to savour albums might hope, successive listens reveal more strands of what is going on below the surface. It’s never been easier to ‘find’ albums, so put this on your priority list.

****

All That Reckoning is out now on Proper.

Track of the day #58: Waterboys

So, yesterday, I got one of many contacts from people about new music. However, this one was from one Brother Paul, keyboardist for The Waterboys. He’s just produced an album coming out on August 10 Jimmie Smith plays tribute to Jimmy Smith, about which more anon.

as much a showcasw for Brother Paul as Messrs Wickham and Scott.

Track of the day #57: The Twilight Sad

The Twilight Sad have recently signed to Rock Action, Mogwai’s own label. There are hints of new events happening, but first up, they have unveiled a new track, entitled ‘I/m Not Here [missing face].’ As you might expect, it’s rather fab. As I have noted elsewhere, the single sees the band marry the motoric of German progressive rock to the classical Piano work of Erik Satie. As the band’s Andy MacFarlane explains:

“I was attempting to play ‘Ogives’ by Erik Satie, but I’m really shit at the piano so it didn’t happen, but I came up with the music using those chord shapes. So from my perspective, it’s a bad cover version of that piece of music.” The tracks can be streamed below.

 

The band’s tourdates can be found here.

Album Review – TT

TT -‘Lovelaws’ (Caroline)

TT is perhaps better known as Theresa Waynan, singer and guitarist with LA indie band Warpaint. Having given us three albums and an EP, she now unveils her debut solo album.

It’s perhaps not unreasonable to ask how it compares to Warpaint. This record sees her explore a more keyboard driven sound than Warpaint, closer to electro-pop than indie guitar and it is mostly a one-person affair. Bandmates Jenny Lee Lindberg and Stella Morzgawa help out on bass and drums respectively.

In its favour, the songs hang together to produce a coherent atmosphere that evokes the likes of Goldfrapp and Bat For Lashes. There are some solid songs – particularly ‘Mykki’ and ‘Too Sweet’ which bookend the album. The problem is that whilst the album is perfectly pleasant, even repeated plays fail to get the songs to linger once they have come to an end.

It’s certainly not a complete failure as a record, but it needs to have more substance to elevate it beyond being merely very pleasant.

**

(yes, I know this album has been out for a few weeks now…I am trying to catch-up with a number of records!)