Life Elsewhere Music Vol 266 – Not The Best Of 2021 Part 2

Bleach Lab start the show with Never Be a subtle emotive song that had us singing along after the first play. The South-London 4-piece are on our radar for 2022. The UK Garage, Grime, Rap, and Hip Hop scenes have managed to do a splendid job of mixing genres to full effect, Frankie Stew & Harvey Gunn with Tears On My Window (ft. Eleni Drake) is original and unmistakably British. Loraine James’ second album, Reflections takes the listener through how it felt to be a young Black queer woman in a world that stopped moving dues to Covid. Self Doubt (Leaving The Club Early) is a stand-out cut from a stand-out album. We chose In Vain by Cin to showcase the quality releases that came our way in 2021 from Sydney-based, Mammal Sounds. Make sure you revisit our conversation with label and management boss, Jez Ryan. For a number of years now, Nancy Kell’s Grimalkin Records has continually appeared in our most listened-to lists. Once In A While from (Eli)Zabeth Owens’ Knock Knock LP is a stellar example why we appreciate Nancy’s astute releases. If there were more time, I could wax lyrical for ages about Penelope Trappes’s work. The Australian-born Brighton-based musician continues to enchant, Nervous from Penelope Three offers far more than shoegaze, discover more descriptives as you indulge in her gorgeous soundscapes. If you do not find yourself wanting to hear Stay The Same again and again from Amber Jay – your ears are clogged up. This is pure pop music with an ominous overtone. Amber’s debut EP Never Too Far From A Dark Thought explains all. I admit to liking cover versions, Harry Stafford & Marco Butcher take on a surprising choice for what is a cleverly conceived version of certainly one of my favorite Syd Barrett-era, Pink Floyd songs, Arnold Layne. Stafford & Butcher show their excellent abilities with their LP, Bone Architecture. Next up, a fine study on how to make a real rock ’n’ roll record. Put Stay Cool by HotWax up against any of your so-called classic rock singles and these three young people from South England have more energy and verve than your Percy Plants could ever have. And – wait for it, they are not signed to a label yet! Someone get busy, please! I believe Alexander Leonard Donat will not rest until everyone has at least one Blackjack Illuminist Record in their collection. In his moniker as Vimmer with Kartenwarten from the LP, Nebenkörper Herr Donat will convince you. Clever band names are often an indication of music you need to investigate. Amber Strawbridge of Bored At My Grandmas House does just that with Sometimes I Forget You’re Human Too. Perfectly wonderful. Jersey City from Golden Vessel & Rei Soi La proves you can be based in Australia and write about a place you visited and make it sound so convincing. Artfully arranged and produced. Another release via the Mammal Sounds stable. We could not resist including another cut from King Hannah, maybe only to prove just how fond we are of this duo making brilliant new music that defies genres. Their long-awaited debut LP should be included in every new music station heavy rotation in the upcoming months. All Being Fine is the perfect title welcome in the New Year. The LP, Hymns From The Backseat by Permanent Vacation caught enough of my attention to include two cuts in LEM Vol 260. Listen carefully to Strange Pets, it’s cynical, honest, and beautifully produced. Just Mustard are from Dundalk, Ireland, I mention this because I’m guessing there must be something in the water there to produce such provocative talent. I Am You suggests we should not be surprised by the follow-up releases in 2022 from this marvelous 5-piece band. Taking the show to the close with a sweet reference to the glory days of British Lover’s Rock the first single, Heaven Sent Dub from the upcoming debut LP, In Session by Mali-I, and featuring Ms. Ray. Thank you for listening. Happy, Happy, New Year!

  1. Bleach Lab – Never Be
  2. Frankie Stew & Harvey Gunn – Tears On My Window (ft. Eleni Drake)
  3. Loraine James – Self Doubt (Leaving The Club Early)
  4. Cin – In Vain
  5. (Eli)Zabeth Owens – Once In A While
  6. Penelope Trappes – Nervous
  7. Amber Jay – Stay The Same
  8. Harry Stafford & Marco Butcher – Arnold Layne
  9. HotWax – Stay Cool
  10. Vimmer – Kartenwarten (Waiting for cards)
  11. Bored At My Grandmas House – Sometimes I Forget You’re Human Too
  12. Golden Vessel & Rei Soi La – Jersey City
  13. King Hannah – All Being Fine
  14. Permanent Vacation – Strange Pets
  15. Just Mustard – I Am You
  16. Mali-I – Heaven Sent Dub (ft. Ms. Ray)

Artwork by Daniel Vespa “Studio series #3” 2017 giclée print on archival paper 16” x 30” Courtesy of Norman B’s collection