Life Elsewhere Music Vol 305

Greetings pop-pickers! Hurricane Ian, computer gremlins, and assorted irksome interruptions delayed me from investigating all the sound files you have sent in the last few weeks. So, it was time to catch up and sort through a wonderful array of new releases. To cram as much music into Vol 305, I’ve cut the jibber jabber down to a minimum. You can read here, everything I would have said between each cut. We begin with Frenchy and the Punk and Come In And Play from their seventh long-player, Zen Ghost. Frenchy and the Punk is vocalist, percussionist, and lyricist Samantha Stephenson and guitarist-composer Scott Helland, about Come In And Play Samantha, says, “I was named after the character in Bewitched. My mom was a fan of the show. It sparked curiosity and enthusiasm for all things mystical and magical from an early age. I could be quite solitary and eventually dove into a meditation practice. That feeling of going inward and exploring the inner workings of the esoteric realm always felt very comforting.” | Feel My Pain by Perpacity is about a love, which is no longer, and the ramifications of this reality say Ian Harling and Martin Nyrup who are Perpacity, residing in the UK and in Denmark respectively. Each has over 20+ years of musical experience, ranging from writing music and live performance to studio work and music production. The deadpan vocals along with the retroesque synths prompted me to do a mad search into my archives for an overlooked record. Perpacity has a vast catalog you should investigate | Not since offering a throat lozenge all those years ago to Rod Stewart after a glorious performance at Eel Pie Island have I been tempted to do the same for another performer who sounds as if his voice may go at any moment until I heard Ben Capper from Liverpool. Saturn Saturn Saturn is Ben’s solo project which he describes as, “A man with some guitars from Liverpool making loud music”. Which is a wee bit modest, what with his distinctive gravely-sand-paper voice Ben has a nice little tune going on here with Don’t Ever Change. The song, he says is about a love song to a hometown. Here is emotion going on here and I approve. | From Ben Capper’s raspy vocals we segue into the dulcet tones of Mari Dangerfield who presents us with a nifty slice of pop on Love Machine. Expertly crafted, a tight production showcasing Mari’s songwriting abilities and very English voice. Hailing from Ealing in West London, Mari calls her sound, “Quirkpop of the mind, body, and laptop”. She confesses that her album, Love And Other Machines “There’s a lot of my reality embedded within the concept and the stories. I would have been lost without making music. It saved my mental wellbeing.” | Madman in the Rain, is the new album from Washington DC-based Dot Dash who happen to be on The Beautiful Music imprint out of Ottawa run by pop aficionado, Wally. And that dear listeners is an endorsement. Forever Far Out is a jingle-jangly cut that could rightfully have escaped from an imaginary mix tape, circa Spring of 1986. Splendid! | And then we come to music that, is not to be slotted neatly into a genre, Elaine Hawley with Archeological Longing. This is from the LP, The Distance Between Heart And Mouth. Elaine is out of Cork, Ireland, I was guided in her direction by the very talented Barry of The Last Sound. Listening to this one cut really doesn’t do justice to the creative work of Elaine Hawley You are seriously advised to search out all of her work. Fascinating and gorgeous. | If you are not yet intrigued by the enormous amount of creativity coming out of the Emerald Isle, then you certainly need to go back and listen to past volumes of LEM. The aforementioned mentioned Barry of The Last Sound shares a split limited edition 7” with Le Gateaux Bateaux, a mysterious fellow of the much missed Irish oddities Rollers/Sparkers. A Fizzle In The Return is another fabulous example of why you need to dispel with genres – now. This cut is fantastic in so many ways. Listen, indulge, and enjoy. Thank you Barry for the prompt. | From fantastic to consistently incredible. Joshua Idehen never fails to please. The man does not rest on his laurels for one moment, he is always progressing, delivering new ideas, exceptional collaborations, and mind-blowing remixes. Josh’s new EP, Hold Your Chin Up is a marvel. His lyrics often reflect what could be a personal story or at least one we can all relate to. In What We’re Doing Tonight (with Katie Dove Dixon) Josh unravels a relationship gone wrong, “One step forward, another step onto the side”. Brilliant! Been there. | Then, still with a tear plopping down his cheek, Mr. Idehen whisks us onto the dance floor and insists, Don’t You Give Up On Me (United freedom Collective Remix). An almost tropical funk coda leads us into an all-out gospel-soul belter. Who can keep still to this? Who can stop themselves from singing along? Awww! It’s dangerously good. You are enjoying the refrain at the top of your lungs, deliberately choosing to ignore the plaintive, desperate lyrics. Dance, sing, dance, sing – you’ll be exhausted – tears will run down your face. Magic! | Picking up on the soulful vibe we head on over to Australia to savor Drowning from new talent, Jude Korab. Here is another broken heart tale created with perfection as we have come to expect from the Mammal Sounds stable. Exquisitely produced, Jude’s voice is beautifully emotive. | Oh, and get ready to continue to dab at your eyes as Marlody tells us all about Summer. As the uncompromising piano stretches across the whole song Marlody’s clear, well-annunciated voice sings from the perspective of a young girl whose mother has died, Summer gives a disturbing, eerie picture of an adult world that’s losing its moorings. The innocence of the child and the sweetness of the music pull us safely through, saving us from the worst of it, but Summer is a perfect example of Marlody’s ability to weave songs so disarming that, for a few minutes, we feel as innocent as the child in the song.  For a while, we don’t notice that summer is over. We don’t notice how dark it’s getting. Astonishingly good! | Just when you think, how much more sadness can Mr. B be so positive about when you become enfolded in Darkest Hour from Debdepan. Chelsea Tolhurst and Grace Bontoft are Debdepan. The duo explains the story behind their single, Darkest Hour is open for interpretation, but the origin of the song is personal, it’s a reflection on an experience, that needed to be captured musically in order to move through it. The song is intended to captivate listeners, to move them from one place emotionally to another – to journey to the quiet within the loud.” Honestly, I love this. As much as I loathe “best of lists” Debdepan’s Darkest Hour has got to be, for my shekels, certainly a top contender for 2022. There is something almost awkwardly inviting and emotionally touching just as King Hannah has proved to be so proficient at. You should know the single is out on Wantsum Music?, a record label based in Ramsgate (UK). I am overjoyed by how good this record is. | And then, The Orchids with I Never Thought I Was Clever. So well put together is this song. Just the right amount of indie-pop stylings with smart lyrics and jauntiness that subtly distracts from the sadness. Lovely. | Many years ago, 1985 to be exact there was a Seattle band, Weather Theatre fronted by John Massoni, all these years later, John is still making excellent music and occasionally he sends me his latest offering. When I’m With You as you will hear is a plaintive love song, a mode John has a special talent for writing. You need to check out more of his work. | Taking us to the close, She’s A Fighter the first single from acclaimed singer-songwriter, Robert Forster’s forthcoming LP, The Candle And The Flame. The Brisbane -based artist says this about the song, She’s A Fighter is the last song I wrote for The Candle And The Flame album. I wrote the music for it in June 2021. I liked the tune and the quick energy of the song, but I didn’t know yet what it was going to be about. In early July, Karin Bäumler, my wife and musical companion for thirty-two years received a cancer diagnosis. In late July, with a series of chemotherapy sessions about to begin, Karin talked of fighting for her health and a path through chemotherapy to recovery. The phrase, She’s A Fighter came to me. I liked it. And I knew immediately that it would work with my new melody. I needed just one other line for the lyrics. ‘Fighting for good.’ The song was finished. I had written my first two-line song. I had just out-Ramoned The Ramones! Because the song has so much meaning to us, we decided to record it as a family. The only time this happens on the album. Karin sings and plays xylophone. Our daughter Loretta plays electric guitar. Our son Louis plays guitar, bass, and percussion. And I strum an acoustic guitar fiercely and sing.” As you read this and listen to the show I will be preparing for an exclusive Zoom conversation with Robert Forster. Thank you for listening.


  1. Frenchy and the Punk – Come In And Play
  2. Perpacity – Feel My Pain
  3. Saturn Saturn Saturn – Don’t Ever Change
  4. Mari Dangerfield – Love Machine
  5. Dot Dash – Forever Far Out
  6. Elaine Hawley – Archeological Longing
  7. Le Gateaux Bateaux – A Fizzle In The Return
  8. Joshua Idehen – What We’re Doing Tonight (with Katie Dove Dixon)
  9. Joshua Idehen – Don’t You Give Up On Me (United freedom Collective Remix)
  10. Jude Korab – Drowning
  11. Marlody – Summer
  12. Debdepan –  Darkest Hour
  13. The Orchids –  I Never Thought I Was Clever
  14. John Massoni – When I’m With You
  15. Robert Forster – She’s A Fighter 

The artwork is by Jordan Cantrell 1945 – 2017 “DVC 213″ 1989 5′ x 5′.6” acrylic and mixed media on laminated board. Courtesy of Norman B’s collection