Here at LEM, we are consistently reminded by critics, music aficionados, PR people, and indie record labels that LEM is the very best resource for new music, we have already given you The Best Of The Best 2022, so now we present The Best Of The Best You May Have Missed 2022. In 60 minutes we present the more obscure cuts we have curated during the past year, music you may have overlooked, music certainly worthwhile hearing again, and music you may not hear anywhere else. Our original commentaries for each cut selected are below. Very big thanks for listening and supporting LEM. We look forward to bringing you another year of the very best in new music. Here then is The Best Of The Best You May Have Missed 2022.
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!
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.
Julia-Sophia is based in Oxford, UK and she says Not Beautiful from her EP, Feels Like Thunder. Julia-Sophia says, “I felt like I was pigeonholed to be this rock chick, and I didn’t really know how to do music, so I went along with it.” I’m glad she did, this one took me by surprise. Plus, forgive me for a little train-spotting, I cannot help being reminded of another English female talent, Rosie Peppin.
Then, we come to singular, Alabaster DePlume with Don’t Forget Your Precious from his new LP, Gold. No matter how many times I play this cut (and it’s been many), I still cannot put my finger on why it moves me so much yet disturbs me at the same time. A wonderful quandary. Mr. DePlume stokes up more questions than answers with his music, and that’s a good thing. You need to know there is a beguiling video directed by Jordan Copeland for Don’t Forget Your Precious. One for repeat play, often
Tomberlin is next with idkwntht (I don’t know who needs to hear this), with Felix Walworth on background vocals and Stuart Bogle on tenor saxophone. A lovely song with wonderful lyrics, “This song is simple but it ain’t easy to sing it like it is believe me”. Sarah Beth Tomberlin performs as Tomberlin, about this cut she says, “It’s about taking a moment for remembrance, clarity, and setting an intention for what is to come. Kind of like a song version of writing out your intentions on a full moon.” Tomberlin’s full album is due this year.
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!
We go to Brazil to enjoy the music of Grisa, also known as Giovana Ribeiro. Lowlife is from her Wet Matchbox EP, four short but fascinating works. About the EP, Giovana says, “I recorded the melodies whispering on my phone because everyone was sleeping on the bus, and I didn’t want to wake them. The title of the EP Wet Matchbox is because all the songs have phrases that refer to fire. And she adds, one may think the cover art is a photo but it actually is an oil painting by artist Gabriela Korr”. It really is stunning. As is Grisa’s music.
And now an artist I have predicted we shall hear a lot more of. Sorcha Richardson first came to our attention when she was living in Brooklyn and released the sublime, Petrol Station. Now the Irish artist is back home in Dublin and is off on tour supporting her latest long-player, Smiling Like An Idiot. Because I think Sorcha deserves your full attention, I’m including two cuts from her new LP, Archie and Shark Eyes. Beautiful voice, songwriting, and production.
Earlier this year Sarah Williams White’s Unfathomable caught our attention. Now comes a 4-track EP with all new versions of tracks from the project, on Unfathomable Remixed. The South London-based singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer, says her sound is a unique blend of psych-soul, folktronica, and experimental pop. Cardiff’s Don Leisure shares a downbeat rework of Sarah’s Greetings. Impressive.
You’ve got to agree, using the moniker Wetcatsmell is a bit brave. After all, if you have, unfortunately, been around that stink, it hardly conjures up a pleasant pong. All the same, Wetcatsmell has made a damn good album with Blessed Be. The two halves of Wetcatsmell are May :3 and Salamander they should be congratulated on creating a work that defies categories, which is a big plus for us. This is an LP we’ve had on repeat play while bastard Hurricane Ian rattles the windows. For this volume, we selected, You Make Me Smile (ft. Eulalie), ‘cause it’s strangely wonderful. Lovely cover art and this one is on the Dream Catalogue imprint out of London, make sure you check them out.
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!
A wonderful email arrived the other day from musical artist and videographer, Eka who is based most of the time in Paris. Her last single, Ash impressed me so I’m thrilled to receive new music from this accomplished artist. About her new work Eka says, “It’s kind of 90s feeling” and on her website, she writes, “I don’t know why we are here, but I’m pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves”. Eka’s sullen tone undermines her ability to make important music. From her recent EP, White Nights I selected Ghost Bird (I Think Of You) and Insomnia. Yes, I’m a fan of Eka.
I keep playing Three by Bdrmm, and I continue to have a quandary. What is it about this one that sounds so familiar, yet so completely new? These lads from Hull say they are “A collection of northern idiots”, clearly they jest. Without going on and on about how much I love this cut, I’ll simply say this is a gem. I want more from Bdrmm. Much more.
To close, a tasty slice of dub from a ridiculously cool album with 82 cuts, Healing Dub – Various Artists Inna Healing Style courtesy of Instrument Of Jah Sound System out of Middlesborough in the UK. Enjoy Mr. Mambutu with Black White Yellow Or Brown as we head toward the closing credits. (Note, this cut is extremely long, so we have made an edit because of time available).
- Rachael Dadd – Arrows (Elsa Hewitt Remix)
- The Garbage & The Flowers – Eye Know Who You Are
- Julia-Sophia – Not Beautiful
- Alabaster DePlume – Don’t Forget Your Precious
- Tomberlin – idkwntht
- Dull Reality – Fragment
- Grisa – Lowlife
- Sorcha Richardson – Archie
- Sarah Williams White – Greetings (Don Leisure re-work)
- Wetcatsmell – You Make Me Smile (ft. Eulalie)
- Marlody – Summer
- Eka – Ghost Bird (I Think Of You)
- Mr. Mambutu – Black White Yellow Or Brown
LEM Vol 310