Life Elsewhere Music Vol 278

Let’s get straight into the music, first up, Crystal Meadows with Fall To Pieces, the title cut from their EP of the name. They are out of Greenfield, Massachusetts, and formed in 2021 according to the limited info I have. All four cuts here are worth your attention, I selected, Fall To Pieces as this one showcases their clever knack of almost hiding the vocals in the mix and making it work. | Over to Athens, Greece we go for the next cut, Lola Demo with Soon Now Or Never from her latest LP, Red Light. Lola, also known as Erika Bach has a dark sense of humor, take the time to listen to her work carefully. Also, Lola/Erica knows a thing or two about evoking a mood which she uses to full effect on this outing. | The Garbage & The Flowers are from Ipswich, Australia, according to various sources. Then, I read a piece about Robert Forster that mentioned The Garbage & The Flowers which had the mysterious band hailing from New Zealand. The fact is, no matter where they are from, this is a band you need to know about. Yes, you’ll be tempted to dwell on influences, but your time will be better spent lapping up what they have to offer on their Cinnamon Sea EP, especially, Eye Know Who You Are. Simple, minimalist perhaps, yet there is something eerily retro while being so now. There is a nonchalant mood while (I think) carefully calculated. Listen carefully. | Double A sides always grab my attention, not least because of the perceived audacity to think we will buy into that concept. As it happens, Planet Parlor from Newmarket, New Hampshire boldly go where others have failed, with two cuts they say are dreamy sounds from a Seacoast duo, November and Easy. Liza Lynehan is on vocals and Ben LeBeau does the music. Most enjoyable. | The folks down under at Mammal Sounds put out delightful records and have a management roster that continues to impress. Take, for instance, producer, Golden Vessel who obliges us again with Pockets Full Of Rocks a tale told utilizing the talents of Mallrat & Emerson Leif. I want a 12” disco mix complete with at least three dubs, please. | Make no mistake, when I rave about artists it’s because my long history of spotting talent has proven to be right on target so many times. Hannah Coombes & Olly Shelton who present as Pela deserve all the adulation I have showered upon them. And, if you are late to the party, then waste no more time and indulge in this pair’s exceptional work. A lot of time and effort goes into each of their releases as demonstrated by their Little Ceremonies EP, their most recent offering. Olly’s productions are so tight and crisp, yet he takes Hannah’s exquisite voice and every time comes up with a perfect soulful balance of sounds as you’ll hear on Heavy. Top marks! | Every day, more albums devoted to helping the desperate, suffering people in Ukraine continue to arrive on my desk. Amongst these releases, there are compilations from all over the place and a wide variety of new music. Here then is a cut from the compilation, Peace + Solidarity100+ Artists To Help Ukrainian Refugees. This one is on Frequency Shift Recordings out of France. They say this, “We contacted many artists around the world, in order to organize a fundraiser to help Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war. These families did not ask for anything and had to leave their homes, families, and friends. We do not accept what is happening and wish to make our contribution. All profits from the sale of this compilation will be donated to the French Red Cross”. The cut I selected (and yes, it was a difficult choice), is Littlegreenman with the optimistic, Happy End. | Pictoria Vark’s new LP, The Parts I Dread is in my opinion going to be one of the most important releases of 2022. The more I listen the more I love these songs from this talented artist. Everything is right about how Pictoria/Victoria puts her work together. Riding down the freeway recently, with the roof open, I had Out on repeat play at number 11 on the volume control. That ending just does it for me, every time. In this volume, I attempt to show you why, by repeating the crescendo. I’m speechless every time I hear it! I am absolutely sure there is a now dead alternative icon who would have truly loved to have written and performed this song with the same unbridled passion as Ms. Vark/Park. Magnificent. | And now, for the banger of the month…the year? The ridiculously talented Josh Idehen after all his many collaborations has at last released a solo cut, Don’t You Give Up On Me. This is the man at his very best, the spoken word artist who creates music so vivid, so passionate, so real and alive. Josh knows how to reach your soul, your heart. He doesn’t hold back at any time, on this song the intensity of his words scorches your nerves.A special tip of the hat to the chorus voices, Heidi Vogel, Cleveland Watkiss, Ade Omotayo, Sharlene Hector, plus the beats and production from Ludvig Parment.Now, more than ever join Josh Idehen in his plea, Don’t You Give Up On Me. Praises! | To close out this volume, new music from a singer-songwriter and poet I have long admired, Barzin. The Toronto-based artist is a distinct talent, his gentleness should not mislead. Here is a man brimming with passion who in a past song wrote, “I’ll burn your house, I’ll burn it down with my desire”. Barzin’s controlled, intelligent lyrics along with his obvious ability to produce perfectly-arraigned soundscapes is a rare combination and should be treasured. Indulge in Voyeurs In The Dark from his forthcoming album. 


  1. Crystal Meadows – Fall To Pieces
  2. Lola Demo – Soon Now Or Never
  3. The Garbage & The Flowers – Eye Know Who You Are
  4. Planet Parlor – November
  5. Planet Parlor – Easy
  6. Golden Vessel – pockets full of rocks (feat. mallrat & emerson leif)
  7. Pela – Heavy
  8. Littlegreenman – Happy End
  9. Pictoria Vark – Out
  10. Josh Idehen – Don’t You Give Up On Me
  11. Barzin – Voyeurs In The Dark

Artwork by Grace Garcia “Restrooms this way” 2020 giclée print on archival paper 12” x 12” Courtesy of Norman B’s collection