One of the best/worst things about the whole blogging game is the abundance of great music. Unfortunately there are (still!) only twenty-four hours in a day, most of which are consumed with non-WTD things, so even if we get sent ten great albums then chances are we will only be able to cover three or four. While trying to avoid falling into the listicle trap, we thought the best way to remedy this problem would be a semi-regular round-up, ‘Best of the Rest’, where we include all the songs we think you should hear but don’t quite have the time to tell you why. Inclusion here is no comment on quality – this isn’t a runner-up prize, just things we have missed!
Jenny Berger Myhre – Måter Å Forstå Seg Selv I Verden
Jenny Berger Myhre is an experimental folk artist from Norway who utilises her interest in other artforms to push the boundaries and explore complex themes more fully and intuitively. Aside from being a photographer, Myhre also records the audio of her surroundings, finding sound can evoke an even more physical reaction. “I try to use my sound recorder in the same way I use a camera – capturing moments, not necessarily important moments, but allowing them to grow in the archive.”
Her forthcoming debut, Lint, made up of recordings made between 2011 and 2016, focuses on how memories can interact and change with the passing of time, and how nostalgic thinking about the previous events ironically reshapes our memories and thus the past as we understand it. While such unsteady footing could be overwhelming and unpleasant in some hands, Myhre creates songs that find peace with the idea, learning to find beauty and wonder in the shifting of perspective and what we once thought of as ‘truth’. Listen to single, ‘Måter Å Forstå Seg Selv I’ below:
big snack – a book of poems
A member of Baltimore’s SUN CLUB before parting ways last summer, the face behind big snack now writes sad solo bedroom pop fleshed out with lo-fi but surprisingly rich effects. February sees the release of latest album i’m going to die in the catacombs, and opening track ‘a book of poems’ is the perfect introduction to the sound – delicate and striking and sombre and sad – basically everything you could want from such a song.
The entire album is available on Soundcloud right now, and if we get the time we’ll get a full review written up in the not-too distant future.
Tom Cunliffe – Old Moon
Recorded in the small port town of Lyttelton in New Zealand, ‘Old Moon’ is the opening track from Tom Cunliffe’s debut album, Howl and Whisper. Rooted in traditional folk and the natural world, the song plays as a cross between love ballad and wanderer’s hymn, the sort of song a mysterious drinker might croon at some hour past midnight in the corner of a low-lit bar, causing other patrons to wonder about his history but never quite dare ask.
“Some men are given mountains
Others have the sea
But the moon
Is for you and me”
Howl and Whisper is out now via the Tom Cunliffe Bandcamp page.
Jay Som – The Bus Song
We’re not going to be pretend to be new or fresh to this, but the new single from Melina Duterte’s upcoming album Everybody Works is too good not to mention. Working on her well-developed formula, ‘The Bus Song’ feels like a consolidation of style and an expression of just how confident Duterte is in the Jay Som aesthetic.
Everybody Works is set for release on the 10th March and you can pre-order it now on a variety of formats via the Jay Som Bandcamp page.
Family Friends – I’m Like You
Family Friends is Rebecca and Tom Fitzsimons, a sister-brother duo split between Melbourne and East London who draw upon various aspects of their respective locales to create music both city cool and shoreline sunny.
New single ‘I’m Like You’, the second track to be released from a forthcoming EP, follows the above recipe word for word, playing like a swaggered stroll along the sea’s edge, sunglasses on and chest puffed out. The band describe the track as “finding another weirdo whose weirdness makes total sense to you,” which gives the air of confidence another dimension, painting that unique pleasure and comfort of being seen in public with people you relate with completely.
The EP is set for release via Beatnik Creative on February 24th.
YOWL – Saturday Drag
A Peckham band with an apparent reputation for “both balance and disharmony,” YOWL’s new EP, Before the Sleep Sets in, is said to “veer from impish morbidity to candid sincerity.” Such swerves are present on the lead single ‘Saturday Drag’, the track opening in a detached stupor before exploding into a raging life around the minute mark. This oscillation continues across the run-time, painting the picture of a character insulating themselves from the banalities of life through self-induced listlessness, snapping out of it only to realise the folly of the tactic, growing anxious to live before the sleep sets in.
My lesser self walks down and down
And all my thoughts straight to video
I’m shooting blanks at every rodeo
I’m sending out the siren call
Before the Sleep Sets In is available now from iTunes.
Andrew James – Shoreline
Houston’s Andrew James writes emotive folk songs in the vein of Noah Gundersen, toeing the line between bitter sadness and something a little more romantic. The title track from his latest release, ‘Shoreline’, is an exemplary display of restrained melodrama done right, blanketed by grief but never suffocated, the sort of song that would be perfectly suited to a disarmingly emotional montage on your favourite medical drama (in a good way!).
Shoreline is available now from iTunes.
Laura Jean Anderson – Won’t Give Up On You
Hailing from Olympia, WA, Laura Jean Anderson uses her folk rock sound to explore intimate things such as honesty, empowerment and personal change, and thus creates some sort of space to examine the wider political climate. “I wanted to release ‘Won’t Give Up On You’ as fuel to the belief that you cannot give up on other people just because they give up on you,” Anderson explains. “It’s a deeply personal song but I believe more than ever that the personal is political.”
The track is a slow burner centred on Anderson’s evocative vocals, the instrumentation added gradually and subtly though eventually coming together to form a rousing finale of wailing guitars and crashing drums.
Bad Dad – Sum Bunny Gun Love Me
Bad Dad is a self-described “country vapor wave” artist from Oklahoma City who makes “blue music to space out to.” If ‘Sum Bunny Gun Love Me’ is anything to go by, that translates as a melancholy brand of dream-folk populated by cowboys dragged into the future, lovesick folk singing the blues as they always have.
‘Sum Bunny Gun Love Me’ is out via Merlin Circle.
Canshaker Pi – What You’re Trying To Say
Despite still being in their teens, Dutch quartet Canshaker Pi (that’s Willem Smit, Boris de Klerk, Ruben van Weegberg and Nick Bolland) managed to enlist the production skills of Stephen Malkmus for their debut album, the Pavement man travelling all the way to the Netherlands for that specific purpose.
Taken from that self-titled release, latest single ‘What You’re Trying to Say’ gives a hint as to why indie rock royalty would go to all that effort. Drawing on the likes of Sebadoh and Guided By Voices, the track exudes an enthusiastic yet gritty slice of fuzzed-out noise, managing to sound at once menacing and catchy through its use of simple melodies and oppressive feedback.
‘What You’re Trying to Say’ is out on the 3rd February via Excelsior Recordings.