Life Elsewhere Music Vol 294

We have a well-practiced system here at Life Elsewhere Tower, music files arrive, Stephanie, my invaluable producer listens and sorts everything according to what she believes will appeal to me. But, no matter what order the stack of new releases comes in, I listen to everything. It’s an effective routine because Stephanie is definitely in sync with what works for LEM. For example, she suggested we “must include” Ghosts Of Good Times by Lonleyklown, although she warned, “You may be a bit a bit wary of this one, ‘cause a British music critic says, Lonleyklown is channeling one of your big faves, the late Ian Dury.” After a big dramatic sigh, I said, “You know I don’t have much time for music critics, no matter where they are from. And, as for channeling Ian Dury, no one can do it better than his son, Baxter.” So, Volume 294 begins with Ghosts Of Good Times by Lonleyklown from his debut LP, Funny Sunday Morning. This is the work of one, David Barker who, as you may have determined is out of London. Competent work. | Slow Connection hail from Barcelona and they are Tyler Balaclava on composition, lyrics, recording and producing and Wild Lilac on artwork, composition, lyrics, and producing, (according to their info). The Wind is a cut from their Belmondo De Azul album, featuring an interesting collection of songs, each one different from the next. Curiously fascinating. | Take My Place is from a double-sided single from Cindy, fronted by Karina Gill, who also happens to be in Flowertown. Both acts are on the smart, Paisley Shirt label out of San Francisco. Karina says this, “I wrote this song, like most Cindy songs, because something I came across in daily life crystallized things I’ve thought and felt for a long time.” Fair enough. Very fond of Take My Place. | Toledo are Dan Álvarez de Toledo and Jordan Dunn-Pilz, they have a special bond, they tell me. They grew up in Massachusetts, now they are roommates and partners in Brooklyn and they finish each other’s sentences. Toledo’s debut LP, How It Ends tells of each other’s family histories and traumas as they navigate their own lives as twenty-something musicians. Climber is the cut I selected, do check out Toledo’s album. | Fingergap are from Hong Kong. Their album is Shan Shan 160, translated from Cantonese 160 means 160 beats per minute and Shan Shan is stagger or lag. Raining Moment is from a fascinating collection of songs. | Musician, Jamaica Mnanda is out of Dar es Salaam, he generously gives us the sound of the Tanzanian street music with Kama Ipo Ipo (What’s Yours is Yours) remixed by famed Lisbon-based producer and master of percussion, DJ Firmeza. Listen carefully to this one as you move your body around, the intricate drum patterns and rhythms are irresistible. | Up in Port Townsend, located on the Puget Sound, not too far a drive from Seattle, Maram & Con are concocting superb new music. Their album, marCo is packed with an assortment of quality music in many styles and genres, including an authentic-sounding reggae cut. Recherché has to be an important prompt to search out more from Maram & Con. Top marks for the artwork. | Next, a delicious 2-Step cut by way of the London-based Cloud Core imprint. Here we have Tacit Gleam with Arroyo a splendid, beautifully executed track. This one is only available to download for one week, so I suggest you visit Cloud Core for more of their must-have releases. | Karamelien are singer-songwriter Léanie Kaleido and guitarist Mark Foster. Ascension Heights is their first single. Léanie’s father is the longtime celebrated original guitarist for The Yardbirds, Top Topham. About Karamelien, Léanie Kaleido says, “I met Mark Foster in my twenties through a mutual friend, when he started to play my songs live with me. My first album’s title ‘Karamelien‘ was made up as an anagram of both of our names. I also like it as an artist name, so I decided to go with it as Mark and I are now back playing together again.” | If you are in lovely Montreal you could run across a three-piece called Dawn To Dawn. They are, Adam Ohr, Patrick Lee & Tess Roby, their album is Postcards From The Sun To The Moon, you’ll hear, Stereo. Tess Roby writes the lyrics. Top-notch recording going on here. | Next, Sun’s Signature with Bluedusk, the current project from vocalist Elizabeth Fraser and percussionist Damon Reece. The life and musical partners have created an original, compelling, and genre-defying collection of songs. You may recognize Elizabeth from a Scottish band who had quite a bit of attention from 1979 to 1997…yes, Cocteau Twins. | Staying in Scotland, we head to Glasgow to hear Starry Skies say, I Don’t Wanna Be That Kind Of Guy. Small Wonders is their LP, give these hardworking people your attention. | To close, singer, songwriter, and producer from Brisbane, Felicity Vanderveen has chosen to go by the moniker of Felivand. Her LP, Ties is an exquisite selection of well-produced songs, yet I can’t quite put my finger on what it is I like so much, it’s perfectly recorded, she has an attractive voice, and her songwriting is creative. Perhaps it’s the overall combination and I shouldn’t spend time trying to dissect such good music. Listen to Ripple Effect to see if you agree.

Playlist

  1. Lonleyklown – Ghosts Of Good Times
  2. Slow Connection – The Wind
  3. Cindy – Take My Place
  4. Toledo – Climber
  5. Fingergap – Raining Moment
  6. Jamaica Mnanda – Kama Ipo Ipo (What’s Yours is Yours) DJ Firmeza Remix
  7. Maram & Con – Recherché
  8. Tacit Gleam – Arroyo
  9. Karamelian – Ascension Heights
  10. Dawn To Dawn – Stereo
  11. Sun’s Signature – Bluedusk
  12. Starry Skies – I Don’t Wanna Be That Kind Of Guy
  13. Felivand – Ripple Effect

Artwork by George Pender “Life In The Shadow Of Sonia” 1999 mixed media on plywood 5′ x 5.14″ Courtesy of Norman B’s collection