Life Elsewhere Music Vol 284

Being angry, I know doesn’t help. But, I was angry. Far too many tragic events seem to cloud my view. Then, I get the news, Cathal Coughlan had died. “Fuck, no!” I shouted loud enough for the lady at reception downstairs to give me a quizzical look when I passed her on the way out the front door to get some much-needed air. Cathal had become a friend via our recent conversations over Zoom. His always serious-seeming demeanor intentionally shielded the man’s wicked sense of humor. A man well-read and able to converse on any topic with clarity and knowledge. A delight to engage with. There are always questions you wished you had asked and issues you wanted to discuss. That’s why my “Fuck, no!” was particularly loud. I was being selfish. I had enjoyed my time with Cathal so much I wanted more. Honestly, how insensitive of me, I cannot ever know how his passing feels to his loved ones. I truly am angry that I won’t be able to see his face pop up in a Zoom chat again. Rest In Peace, dear friend. 

LEM Vol 284 begins with Be Still from Raven Ives, a New York-based artist I recommend you check out. Her Dancing Shadows EP would be a fine place to start. | We first heard from one, Stephen James Howard a few years back, he goes by the moniker of Ten Katestraat. Named after a location in the city he was then living in, Amsterdam. Now Stephen tells me he has moved on over to Geneva, his latest release, Puerto Sol. Stephen describes this as spaghetti western blues. Fair enough, although I do like that his music as Ten Katestraat is thankfully, hard to slot into a handy genre. | Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood and Sons of Kemet’s Tom Skinner are names you should be familiar with. Together they present as The Smile, their highly anticipated debut album A Light For Attracting Attention is available on XL Recordings. Free In The Knowledge features strings by the London Contemporary Orchestra and a full brass section of contemporary UK jazz players including Byron Wallen, Theon and Nathaniel Cross, Chelsea Carmichael, Robert Stillman, and Jason Yarde. | Simmerdim: Curlew Sounds is a unique double album, a compilation of newly-commissioned works and soundscapes, inspired by one of the UK’s most iconic and endangered birds, the Eurasian curlew. The cut I selected is The Arc from David Gray, who happens to be passionate about curlews, and a patron of the UK charity, Curlew Action. The project is the brainchild of the Orkney-born musician Merlyn Driver. | Every time we receive a new release from Keeley, we rush to listen, and every time, we are not disappointed. Here is a talent determined to succeed and it shows in the superb production on Shadow On The Hills, taken from the forthcoming mini-album Drawn To The Flame. | It’s worth considering the nonstop parade of gorgeous bodies on Australia’s Bondi Beach makes for an inspiring if not energetic environment to consistently release top-notch music. After all, Mammal Sounds who proudly reside there sent us yet another goodie. This time it’s 44 Ardent with nomoreheat from his upcoming debut EP Into The Deep, planned for release in August. He says “This one is about climate change, I must admit it ended up sounding a bit happier than I had originally intended. This song reflects on keeping a positive outlook when things are bleak”. | Echoboy stops by to offer an explanation of  Dub with the excellent, Dub Teachings. This one is from the Johovah EP on Moonshine Recordings out of Jamaica. | The Caughtery hail from Austin, and do I denote an almost reggae-style tilt to the drums on Fragile? This is the work of long-time Austin music veterans Lisa Tingle and David Gayler who now go by the name, The Caughtery. Fragile is from their debut EP. It veers off into an almost classic rock coda, reminding me of how big hair and spandex were considered hot all those moons ago. | Over in France are Garance, Franck, and Fabien who collectively are known as 40 Days Without Water. And we hope this won’t confuse you, their LP is, 40 Days Without Water, and the track we selected is 40 Days Without Water. To help dismiss any concerns about originality this Paris-based trio is on the always enterprising Shoredive Records. Enjoyable work going on here. | Alexia Avina says her LP, A Little Older “Began somewhere back in 2018 while sitting on my friend’s floor in small-town Germany, the songs pieced together to form a whole; phases of my life, each informing the next, yet somehow circularly revolving around the same thread of questioning”. You’ll hear the title cut and I urge you to listen carefully to this LP, it’ll be worth your time. | We’ve played This Is The Kit on LEM a few times, so I took notice when TITK front-person, Kate Stables says, Rachael Dadd is one of the most talented wise prolific, and important women of our times”. Rachael’s LP Flux came out in 2019, and now she has two remix albums, Part 1 and Part 2. The Elsa Hewitt Remix of Arrows is haunting and I would expect a prompt for you to discover more of Rachael’s work. Excellent, top marks! | It’s comforting to think the very talented Cathal Coughlan would approve of my selection for LEM Vol 284. The co-founder of Microdisney and Fatima Mansions and most recently his collaboration with Jackknife Lee as Telefish died on May 18. I treasure the times I spent chatting via Zoom with the legendary Irish musician. His most recent solo out was the album, Song Of Co-Aklan, in tribute we give you the title cut. Thank you for listening.


  1. Raven Ives – Be Still
  2. Ten Katestraat – Puerto Sol
  3. The Smile – Free In The Knowledge
  4. David Gray – The Arc
  5. Keeley – Shadow On The Hills
  6. 44 Ardent – nomoreheat
  7. Echoboy – Dub Teachings
  8. The Caughtery – Fragile
  9. 40 Days Without Water – 40 Days Without Water
  10. Alexia Avina – A Little Older
  11. Rachael Dadd – Arrows (Elsa Hewitt Remix)
  12. Cathal Coughlan – Song Of Co-Aklan

The artwork by Paul Wilson-Smith “Inch” 2009 Various media on cardboard 12” x 12” Courtesy of Norman B’s collection