Life Elsewhere Music Vol 282

Genres? What genres? This volume of new music deliberately defies the whole concept of genres. We move from almost cinematic orchestration to good ol’ twangy guitar to a dubbed-up version of a national anthem. The show starts with the intriguing May + B from Mathilde Nobel, a track from her album of the same name. This one is on Nous’klaer Audio out of Rotterdam, originally self-released by Mathilde in 2019, now in 2022 available on transparent red vinyl in a limited pressing of 100 copies. Chillingly minimalistic, accented by equally haunting vocals. | Patrick Watson is out of Montreal, Better In The Shade is his seventh full-length studio album. In discussing the LP he says, “It’s about negotiating a world where you don’t know what’s real anymore. I really spent a lot of time reading to improve my lyrics for this record. The lyrics are a collection of little thoughts that were pacing in my head. Height Of The Feeling is about using intimacy as a compass when you feel out of your skin.” Patrick adds, “I was lucky to be able to co-write this with Ariel Engle from La Force. She’s so much fun to work with. We just did loads of improv takes on one mic and giggled together the whole time”. The result is one damn sexy recording, “It’s in the way you leave me shapes on my pillow that only I can see. It’s in the way we lean on each other so we don’t fall”. Breathtaking! | The glorious music of In The Nursery caught my attention from their very first release back in the early 80s. Since then, twin brothers, Klive and Nigel Humberstone have produced a vast catalog of music garnering a large, devoted following while they deftly evolve, chameleon-like from New Wave to Industrial to Cinematic Soundscapes. Their latest album, Humberstone, the Sheffield-based twins first studio release since 2017 was recorded at their own Beehive Works studio. Using their surname was a deliberate choice, “We have always needed a reason to make music, a rationale for its creation and existence. We are conscious of the connection between music and memory. Our antecedents have been a catalyst and a stimulus for this new album – it has been good to re-connect and remember.” This is a deeply personal album, it sees them in a reflective mood. Recorded during 2021, a year in which they turned sixty. To illustrate their bold and brilliant work, I chose, Émigré (The Dressmaker). Listen carefully, this is truly excellent music. To learn more about In The Nursery go to my conversation with Klive and Nigel. We plan to schedule a chat with the brothers, Humberstone about their new album, soon. | Tim Spelman the driving force behind indie-pop outfit Tiny Fighter and post-rock project Fire To The Stars, now has a debut ambient-pop single Night using the moniker,  Kaapstaad. Tim says, Night was originally composed for a short film score that never saw the light of the day. Intended as a lullaby-meets-soundscape, the idea was to combine a simple melody with field recordings from a Swedish forest at night – the rain, insects, and crackles you can hear in the background of the song. Looking forward to hearing more from Kaapstaad. | Colatura say they are, “A Brooklyn-based dream surf-pop band that writes sad songs that sound happy”. Jennica Best, Digo Best, Meredith Lampe, and Alex Kirkpatrick are Colatura and they produced an excellent LP, And Then I’ll Be Happy. I decided to share with you a cut they are not promoting as a single, We Run On Empty, because, well because it’s so good. Those harmonies and reaching those high notes – perfect. | The names John (Haggis) Hegarty and Edward Butt might be familiar to you, especially if you follow the Irish music scene. These two talented fellows are also founding members of the very fine, Emperor of Ice Cream. Their latest project is Silver Owls with Serpentine EP displaying their respective abilities, including the cool artwork. A rousing work here with Serpentine, play loud and often. A tip-o-the-hat to the folks over at Fifa records. | Jah Wobble hardly needs any introduction, the legendary bass player is back with Ukrainian National Anthem In Dub (ft. Jon Klein). To raise much-needed funds, support, and awareness for refugees fleeing the continuing conflict in Ukraine, Jah Wobble and legendary English quartet The Ukrainians got together to release a truly unique and inspired version of the besieged country’s national anthem with all proceeds going to charity, produced, arranged and mixed together with Jon Klein, Siouxsie, and The Banshees’ guitarist. “Monies collected will buy provisions, medical aid, and clothing for traumatized individuals and families whose situation is desperate beyond our understanding here in western Europe. It’s important for us all to keep in mind, too, that as reports of the invasion’s progress slip down the priority list on the national news, a great deal of support will still be needed by these refugees on an ongoing basis. Please don’t forget them just because you see less of them on your screens. Please continue to support them. The mass murders, cruel rapes, and wanton destruction of Ukraine will continue while the TV cameras are pointing somewhere else” says Len Liggins of The Ukrainians. Available on Dimple Discs. | From a two track EP, Etyen & Salwa Jaradat give us Galah Waji. Palestinian traditional Arabic singer Salwa Jaradat & Lebanon’s wizard of electronica Etyen come together for this release. Fleeing conflict and oppression in her native Palestine, Salwa Jaradat migrated to Lebanon almost a decade ago and has become an integral part of the fabric of the local traditional music culture. While this collaboration marks the first non-traditional experiment for the Palestinian native, Etyen however is no stranger to the modern music industry and has earned the title of “wizard of electronica” in his local scene. | “We make music. Dark and dancey.” Says London Plane. The NYC-based outfit’s LP, Bright Black drops on June 17th. Most enjoyable and I do like a nice twangy-guitar sound. David Mosey, Jessica Cole, Bryan Garbe, Grant Parker, Julian Tulip, and Kristofer Widholm are London Plane, I’m quite sure this bunch put on a festive live show. | Down under in Melbourne you’ll find the collaborative project of Kate Durman, Lachlan McGeehan, and Morgan Wright who are Acopia. Chances is from their LP of the same name and they say it was written over the course of two years and serves as a shared confession of all three members’ personal journeys. It captures the melancholy and mourning of breakups, the thrill of finding new love, and the experience of learning to love yourself just as others do. Lovely artwork by Angelina Nonaj. | Staying in Australia we make an almost weekly visit to Mammal Sounds who continue to be associated with urgently fresh new music like Dull Reality with Fragment. He’s an Australian newcomer making ambient tech-house music. He says he’s an electronic musician who dabbles in a bit of architecture and design. That thumping keyboard sound with the fragmented vocals takes me back to 80s disco days. Except this is wonderfully modern. Dance your socks off! | Anne Garner with Dear Unknown is on Slowcraft Records, produced by label head, James Murray. About Dear Unknown, Anne says, “Sometimes it’s difficult for me to put into words what I feel and why, so I prefer to write songs instead. This new album is me expressing through music what I feel about life and death outside of religion, giving myself permission to be curious and create my own spirituality. Somehow it makes sense for me to share this with you. I hope it makes sense to you too?” It makes perfect sense to me, but I’d like to get your feedback on all the music I curate. Till next time, be well, be safe, and always, be nice.

Playlist

  1. Mathilde Nobel – May + B
  2. Patrick Watson – Height Of The Feeling (ft. La Force)
  3. In The Nursery – Émigré (The Dressmaker)
  4. Kaapstaad – Night
  5. Colatura – We Run On Empty
  6. Silver Owls – Serpentine
  7. Jah Wobble & The Ukrainians (feat. Jon Klein) – Ukrainian National Anthem In Dub
  8. Etyen & Salwa Jaradat – Galah Waji
  9. London Plane – Bright Black
  10. Acopia – Chances
  11. Dull Reality – Fragment
  12. Anne Garner – Dear Unknown

Artwork by Ben Wachtell “Everyway but this way” 2021 Manipulated digital image, giclée print on archival paper 26” x 28” Courtesy of Norman B’s collection