Life Elsewhere Music Vol 245

What a lot of exceptional new music continues to arrive at Life Elsewhere Tower. The aftermath of the year of Covid really does appear to have made a major effect on creative talent. (As I write, Covid has not gone anywhere thanks to the ignorance of some of our fellow citizens). We begin with a fine example of quality production from a label that has a catalog you need to investigate, Hand Drawn Dracula Records out of Toronto. The band is Praises, their EP is unassumingly titled, EP4. The cut you’ll hear is A World On Fire. Simply put, a delicious song deserving of repeat plays. Next up, some lads from Essex who have chosen the sly moniker of Don’t Worry. From the example of their EP, Sideways Rain, I’m under the impression a live performance from Don’t Worry would possibly be a rumbunctious, but most enjoyable affair. Doctor Doctor captures a distinctive throwback aura, and that’s a good thing. Harry Stafford of Inca Babies fame and punk-blues veteran, Marco Butcher have never actually met in the flesh. But they are punk soul brothers from the same muddy musical pond. Connecting with one another during a year of ‘lockdown hell’, their exchange of ideas and talk of musical influences inadvertently led to their collaboration. Bone Architecture is the name of their LP, I’ll play the title cut and a splendid cover of Pink Floyd’s 1967 debut single, Arnold Layne. A much-discussed and debated over song that Harry and Marco have no problem reimagining. London-based Loraine James has been on my radar since her 2019 release, For You And I. She is back with Reflection her second album via the superb Hyperdub label. This is Loraine looking back on 2020 with unflinching honesty. She says Reflection is pared down and tells of how last year felt as a young, Black queer woman in a world that suddenly stopped moving. I’ve segued together, Reflection and Self Doubt (Leaving The Club Early). I’m a firm advocate of compilations. They are a perfect way to sample a vast array of new music for the price of an album. Check out, Still Live Vol 1, out of NYC. Apollo Vega with Does Heaven Have WiFi and Insect City with Stardust (not) Loneliness are my selections. Very cool graphics, too. If you buy into the press release for Breadminster County Council Music Initiative then you have probably missed the point. The charmingly named Elijah Minnelli offers us Stats (with a glorious over-the-top Dub on the other side. More investigating is needed to find out who is behind this lark. Talented Anna Vincent admits that she has always struggled with self-doubt. She taught herself guitar at age 14 and then began writing poetry, which developed into songwriting. Although she says, “I wasn’t confident enough to share my work until my early 20s”. Thankfully, Anna has shared her talent, and her LP, Under The Glass is lovely. Listen to Naxos, I have no doubt you’ll agree. Dana Margolin and bandmates do not disappoint on each release. In fact, I’m astonished why Indie radio in the US of A is not playing the shit out of Prrige Radio. Here are two cuts, back to back, a cover of The Shins’, New Slang and Happy In A Crowd. I do believe you can hear Maria Marzaioli of Slum Of Legs on violin in the mix. (Psst, Maria has her own EP coming out soon). Here’s an interesting one, Me Lost Me with Acrobat On The Roof. This is the work of Jayne Dent out of (one of my favorite places), Newcastle-upon-Tyne. About this song, Jayne says, “I imagine it as an interaction between two characters, one taking a break from their work and sitting on a roof and enjoying the view, the other on the ground below passing them, a snippet of a mundane interaction in an imaginary future”. The cut was written and produced by Jayne Dent and features, Faye MacCalman on clarinet and John Pope on double bass. Acrobat On The Roof is from The Circle Dance EP. To take you up to the close, a cut from Duppy Vaulted (2011 – 2021, Jamaican recordings courtesy of LA-based Duppy Gun Records. This compilation they say “Is a ink between amazing producers from all over the world with unique & amazing vocalists from the island & doing our part in trying to reverse a history of exploitation between the states & the Jamaican music world”. Lopo gives us Never Play Dat 2021, Produced by Big Flyte & Genesis Hull. There you have 60 minutes of wonderful music for your listening pleasure. Do make sure you send your feedback to norman b at lifeelsewhere dot co

  1. Praises – A World On Fire
  2. Don’t Worry – Doctor Doctor
  3. Harry Stafford & Marco Butcher – Bone Architecture
  4. Harry Stafford & Marco Butcher – Arnold Layne
  5. Loraine James – Reflections
  6. Loraine James – Self Doubt (Leaving The Club Early)
  7. Apollo Vega – Does Heaven Have WiFi
  8. Insect City – Stardust (not) Loneliness
  9. Elijah Minnelli – Slats
  10. Anna Vincent – Naxos
  11. Porridge Radio – New Slang
  12. Porridge Radio – Happy In A Crowd
  13. Me Lost Me – Acrobat On The Roof
  14. Lopo – Never Play Dat 2021 (Prod. Big Flyte & Genesis Hull

Artwork by Ishi Yamamoto “NYC 12.26.2009″ 2010 24″ x 24” giclée print on archival paper. Courtesy of Norman B’s collection

LEM Vol 245