Life Elsewhere Music Vol 219

It was a busy week putting this volume together. A massive amount of new music arrived, which resulted in a lot of late nights of listening. Not really a hard task staying up until 2 or 3 in the morning enjoying new music. But, it’s narrowing the selection down to a 60-minute show. Here are the results. First up, we go to Liverpool to hear from Amber Jay with Stay The Same. Now here is one you need to listen to carefully. After a plaintive first few lines Amber delivers a bouncy, seemingly happy song, yet is she not happy about staying the same? This comes from her debut EP, Debut EP Never Too Far From A Dark Thought I love her voice. The beginning of Doctor Says by Midnight Sister reminds me of, well I’m not quite sure. The same goes for the rest of the album, Painting The Roses. This is well produced and I feel I should not question all the effort that went into it. Lovely artwork too. Adam, Char & Kieran are just three people from the North of England trying to make a nice noise so if ur ears love it we love you, they say collectively as Hinata. They also let us know their So Far EP was recorded during 2020 lockdown in a bedroom. It would also seem these Leeds-based people don’t really want to be saddled with one genre because they use these monikers, dream pop, shoegaze, goths, whatever, lofi, dream pop music to dance around your bedroom too. Where’s Home? is from an excellent EP. “I didn’t trust anyone adult,” claims Nana Yamato, “even my parents”. She says, “As a 20-year old I walk the streets of Tokyo like a superhero incognito. By day, I’m an ordinary girl who marches anonymously between her flat, her school and her job. But by night, when the world gets quiet, and the demands of education and employment have subsided, I become something else.” Listen to her If from her LP, Before Sunrise and you decide. Fascinating video for this track. Glasgow’s Octo Trax put out quality music and here is a perfect example, Plenty Of Me (Original Mix) by Amber Leith. Danny Igoe is Amber Leith. The Plenty Of Me EP has 3 superb cuts with a cool minimal remix by Octo Trax co-founder, Poly800. Stellar work. You gotta love the name, Bored At My Grandmas House. One can presume that Amber Strawbridge was not in fear of upsetting her grandma. You’ll hear Showers and Sometimes I Forget You’re Human Too from the Leeds-based artist on the excellent Clue Records, a label I suggest you check out. Keep an eye out for Bored At My Grandmas House. Next, we dash on down to the South of France to hear from Ceikaba Meets Handyman with The Truth. Ceikaba a singer born in Marseille says she discovered music as a child with the violin. Then, years later, she decided to try the experience of living for and through music accompanied by her guitar and her voice. Listen closely, see if you can hear join as I segue into Dub The Truth. This one is available on HFD Records out of Avignon, France. There is so much to talk about with Ian Sweet and Drink The Lake. First up, Ian Sweet is Jillian Medford from LA, her LP, Show Me How You Disappear comes out in March and I’m recommending you investigate it. This note came with the LP, “Show Me How You Disappear is the sound of someone coming apart and putting themselves back together — the moment an old mantra, repeated into the mirror time and time again, finally clicks. To look at your reflection, and finally feel seen.” The video for Drink The Lake begins with Jillian laying in pitch-black water, it looks as if she is wearing a school uniform, tie, white shirt, and jacket, then the scene cuts to daylight with Jillian and a group of boys fighting, all dressed in black suits, white shirts, and black ties – maybe they are not in school uniform? – It’s a series of disturbing scenes, especially when the chanteuse looks knowingly into the camera. Julinko is the music project of Giulia Parin Zecchin from Treviso, Italy. Her LP is No Destroyer, you’ll hear the title cut. Yes, it’s slightly off-kilter, Giulia says she “oscillates between ancient melodies and disquieting distortions” and adds, “I recorded it myself during a one-week session at home, during the first lockdown. It is brief and authentic and somehow, impersonal, beyond me: that’s why I need to share it, to give something back”. Over in Brooklyn, we find Charlotte Rose Benjamin with Back To The Future. “Written in a state of isolation and born out of a sense of anxiety common to many of us in recent months”, Charlotte says. “When I was maybe 7 I watched the movie Back to the Future with my dad and the scene where Marty McFly is on stage at the school dance playing guitar and his fingers start going see-through and he keeps looking at this photo of him standing with his family and he’s slowly fading out of because he went back in time and (spoiler) almost prevented his parents from ever getting together scared the shit out of me and I made my dad turn it off and didn’t see the ending for years. The idea of having ~never existed~ was horrifying to me. A few months into quarantine I realized that’s exactly how I felt. I moved back into my parent’s house and sometimes it was hard to believe that anything in my adult life had ever even happened. Depression has a way of making you feel like you have always been sad and will always be sad. I also liked the irony of “Back to the Future” as a title in one of the darkest times in American History wherein moments I truly thought we were facing the apocalypse and any notion of “the future” was so unclear”. I want to hear more from Charlotte Rose Benjamin. Taking us up to the close, a tasty slice of Drum and Bass from famed Swiss D & B duo, QZB. We Pretend (Ft. Charli Brix) is from their Clairvoyant EP. Expertly crafted dismissing the critiques of D & B who argue it is an out-of-date genre. Far from it, QZB and others are making music you need to hear. 

LEM Vol 219 Playlist

  1. Amber Jay – Stay The Same
  2. Midnight Sister – Doctor Says
  3. Hinata – Where’s Home?
  4. Nana Yamato – If
  5. Amber Leith – Plenty Of Me (Original Mix)
  6. Bored At My Grandmas House – Showers
  7. Bored At My Grandmas House – Sometimes I Forget You’re Human Too
  8. Ceikaba Meets Handyman – The Truth
  9. Ceikaba Meets Handyman – Dub The Truth
  10. Ian Sweet – Drink The Lake
  11. Julinko – No Destroyer
  12. Charlotte Rose Benjamin – Back To The Future
  13. QZB – We Pretend (Ft. Charli Brix)

About the artwork for this volume: Paulette Wilder 1980 – 2020 “Hello #3” 2008 6’8” x 6’8” Emulsion base with colored dyes on plasterboard. Courtesy of Norman B’s collection