Has over a year of living in a state of fear of COVID resulted in a glorious amount of superb new releases? It does seem in the last week or so I have been continually surprised and yes, impressed with the new music that has arrived on my desk. To begin, brothers Angus James and Oliver James formed The Death Of Pop on the south-coast of England in2013. For Seconds, the title track of their new album, they are joined by Thom James on drums and Edwin Pope on sax. In their notes they make a (jokey?) reference to 90’s shoegaze and 80’s new wave. We like The Death Of Pop references or not. Over in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, Starlips maybe prowling around in dark corners. Well, that maybe what they would like you to imagine. Their two track EP, Sin Masse delivers the unrelenting Song and Siren. Both cuts are rich with noise you need to listen to both loud and carefully. Juliette Jade says her LP, Kaleidoscope is a collection of fifteen home demos, all composed, performed, recorded, produced and reworked by, wait for it – Juliette Jade. The Paris-based artist emanates a style and sound that could be mistakenly categorized because Ms. Jade deserves her own genre. Now to a three-piece from Manchester who are a perfect example of people making music I am raving on about. They call themselves, The Early Mornings, their EP is titled, Unnecessary Creation. You’ll hear two cuts, Blank Sky and Just A Picture. Their DIY video is jolly good. I dare you to disagree with me! Over in Nottingham is producer George Gretton making smart music like Clear. Listen to this one again (and again). Top marks for the knob-twiddling. This is one of those tracks I would like to go on for at least another 4 or 5 minutes. A dance floor remix is in order, more please, Mr. Gretton. We go back in time for the next one, well, not that far back, it’s December 2020 and Oly releases the album, Shy Passion. Trojan Heart is the cut I selected and you are advised to check out more from Public Works Records out of Miami, co-founded by Oly. When your publicity blurb says, “I’m a 15 year old singer songwriter from Leigh on Sea in Essex and have been writing music for a couple of years now. Suddenly here I am with my first EP! I started solely on piano, but have really enjoyed pushing my guitar and vocals too. I’m writing all the time and currently have another 5 songs almost ready to release”, that is an invitation to explore who and what this artist is all about. Ruby Hickman caught us by surprise. She is definitely talented and she certainly knows how to put a song together. As for the production, she doesn’t say who is responsible, but I’m guessing Ruby had a lot to say say about how her music was recored. From her EP, The Fake You we will play, I Hate You. To hear more from Ruby Hickman check out LE 418. Boston is in Lincolnshire in the UK, that is where Liam James Marsh (AKA Kid Chameleon) and Alice Kat hail from. Together they are known as Fine. Their LP is, I’m Glad It’s Over Now. Two cuts, I Sleep So Much Better Now and Where I Came / Where You Left give you a taste of how good they are, but you would definitely be wise to treat yourself to their smashing album. The idea of writing, and singing a song about protruding front teeth sounds like a bit of a impossible proposition. Yet, Fightmilk took it on and have come up with an excellent solution. “Your two front teeth sit so sweet on your bottom lip”. Haven’t you had a crush on someone with a physical feature that could be considered unattractive, yet you think it’s so…sexy? Overbite is from Fightmilk’s second LP, Contender. I love it! Love her voice.! Fightmilk are out of London, they are Lily, Alex, Healy and Nick. So good! Me Me Me Records are based out of the astonishingly revitalized, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and they put out quality releases. When It’s Gone is by Amarcord from the Age Of Intimacy EP should have you searching for more from this enterprising label. Erika de Casier is a talent to watch out for. Drama from her LP, Sensational offers up a gentle and sophisticated R & B track for this Copenhagen-based artist. To round out this volume a cut from a curious compilation c/o Hermit Dubz. Each song here has a vocal version and three dub versions. A new and cool rendition of Heart Made Of Stone by Awa illustrates why modern reggae is essential listening. Enjoy!
The artwork for this volume is by Sandra Kendrick “English Garden, Teddington” 2010 3’ x 3’ giclée print on archival paper mounted on hardboard. Courtesy of Norman B’s collection
LEM Vol 229