Tag Archives: culture

Not The Best Of 2020 – Life Elsewhere Music Vol 213

It’s simple because we curate only the best at Life Elsewhere Music, our last volume for this year is Not The Best Of 2020!

And, what an amazing number of really superb releases. Was it because of being in isolation? The fact is, week after week, brilliant new releases came our way. Far too many to include in a 60-minute show. Every cut selected for Life Elsewhere Music was the best, so, we present the most played cuts in 2020 here at Life Elsewhere Towers in a non-stop carefully curated one whole hour of Not The Best Of 2020*.

Playlist
  1. Folk Devils – Forever
  2. Slum Of Legs – Love’s Not Enough
  3. Sylken Somers – Tenderhead Tenderheart
  4. Amaria Hamadalher – Tamidtine
  5. Phil Parfitt – Bones Cold
  6. Otta – Near Enough A Woman
  7. Pillow Queens – Holy Show
  8. Rosehip Teahouse – I Meant What I Said
  9. Nuha Ruby Ra – Sparky
  10. October & The Eyes – All My Love
  11. King Hannah – Crème Brûlée
  12. Denise Sherwood – Uncertain Times
  13. Underhairz – To You With A Smile
  14. Porridge Radio – 7 Seconds
  15. Pela – South Of

The artwork for this volume is by Shane Compton “Inch” 2016 12” x 8” mixed media on laminated wood. Courtesy of Norman B’s collection

*If your release was not selected for this volume, you can be sure it appears on past volumes for 2020. Listen here

Show Vol 213

Life Elsewhere Music Vol 212

This volume of Life Elsewhere Music will be the last of new releases for 2020, a year we all desperately want to be over. Yet, it must be noted that despite the extraordinary events of the past twelve months was the abundance of excellent new music. And this volume is confirmation. To begin, Covid affected everyone, especially musicians including, Yazmin Lacey & Congi. The duo out of Nottingham recorded in their homes during lockdown and by finishing each song in ‘two takes’, they say, “We kept the process as raw and organic as possible.” Hence, the EP title, Two Takes. Follow Me a deceptively powerful song about a relationship. Don’t let the bell-chimes trick you into not listening carefully. Baby Blue from Frazier Blue has familiar air, yet the smart production and use of different synth pads result in a mysterious love song. I want to hear more from this Sydney-based artist. There is something happening in Dublin. A beautiful city that appears to be festooned with creative talent. Gemma Dunleavy is a terrific ambassador with the release of her EP, Up De Flats. Commenting on those obnoxious blue police lights, so often seen late at night agitating council estates in Stop The Lights, Gemma asserts her opinion in a well-crafted song. A tip-of-the-hat must go to Brendan Doherty on drums on this track. Gemma Dunleavy says, “These songs are dedicated to the people of Sheriff Street flats and the North Wall Community.” You can hear some of the voices of kids from the estate throughout the EP. Some names for bands work so perfectly, but they may mislead you into a preconceived idea of their music, here’s a fine example, Space Basement Cult, a trio from Leeds in Yorkshire. You’ll hear, Phil, The Self-Centered Weatherman which may have you checking off a long list of influences, especially when you take a listen to the other side, Me, The Self-Centered Lover. Influences aside, clearly these lads know what they’re doing, after all, they say they make “Wonk pop”. Recently, Shoegaze has been motivating intuitive young musicians in Seoul, South Korea to have a go. With the album, Fogesque, Fog who label themselves, Seoul City Shoegaze exhibit their enthusiasm. We selected Dehumidifier which builds to an impressive wall-of-noise. Sin is on the almost whispered vocals and guitars, Ryu is on guitars, Oh plays the bass, and 9SUK takes care of the drums and is responsible for the artwork. Next, hold on, while I rave for a moment or two…honestly, I have no idea why I have not had them on the show earlier, but to makeup, you’ll hear two cuts from Rosehip Teahouse’s Fine EP. I Meant What I Said and I’m Not Whole, if there were time, I’d play the whole EP, it’s that good. The Cardiff-based band is Faye Rogers, Tony Williams, Josh Dickins, Will Dickins, and Alice Low. “A twinkling descent into sadness.” They say about their music and Faye Rogers writes, “The songs cover love, losing love, fighting an eating disorder that wanted to take me over completely, my unregulated emotions, dreams (both literal and metaphorical) finding some sort of meaning amongst it all and coming out the other side, slightly stronger as a result of it.” I am entranced. Adelaide is the cut you’ll hear from the debut EP, Devil’s Rain from Maria BC. Almost apologetically, they say the EP was recorded in their apartment during lockdown in NYC – they usually sing much louder but had to keep the noise down, so as not to disturb the neighbors. And I say, I’m just thankful you made the recording. Beautiful! Maria BC adds, “I hope people find some intimacy in these songs.” Noé Solange is a London based producer, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and (I believe) photographer. Her heritage is Dutch/Indonesian and being raised around the world, Noé pulls cultural threads from her upbringing. This all comes together in the gently persuasive love song, Falling from her EP Bound. Top marks for the production. On her website, Seraphina Simone says, “Writes music to make bad decisions to.” Well, I made the good decision to include, Blue Devil in this volume. Seraphina is based in London, but she grew up between London and LA, she writes, “My songs draw on the syrupy seediness of Cali glamour and murky, neon-lit London grit.” You are advised to check out more from Seraphina. Next, we go to Chicago where Serena Isioma doesn’t mess around in asking, Why Am I So Toxic. Thankfully, gender-fluid songs are being heard and enjoyed beyond limited audiences. On their EP, The Leo Sun Sets, Serena Isioma ably demonstrates they are a competent songwriter and performer who can deliver a message. Spoken word artists are coming to the fore again and Sophie Sparham is garnering much-deserved praise. She partners with saxophonist, Christopher Gregory for this album, Sunrise Over Aldi. Hailing from Derby, Sophie will probably be surprised to learn her distinctive dialect sounds exotic to the American ear. You’ll hear the title cut, but make sure you check the rest of the album out. Here is that question of name choices again, John Edgar has a beautiful voice, plays excellent piano, and writes gorgeous plaintive songs. And, he uses the moniker, The Dawdler which is, I presume is intentionally misleading. John says he is well acquainted with the darker sides of life, his new EP, Sign of Growth, touches on subjects such as death, loneliness, grief, and alcoholism. Don’t Get Blue is the cut we have chosen. A large thumbs up to the other musicians involved in this album. Excellent. Last but certainly not least are Caitlin Loney and Peter Woodford from Montreal who perform here as Freelove Fenner. Their album, Punishment Zone is a well-produced, somewhat restrained affair, showing off superb songwriting and performing. Shoulder Season is a fine example. Our next volume will the big finalé for 2020 where once again we present, Not The Best Of. That’s right, far too much incredibly good music has come our way in the last 12 months to make a Best Of list. Instead, we will give you the most-played at Life Elsewhere Towers. 

Thank you for listening to volume 212 of Life Elsewhere Music. Happy! Merry! Jolly!

LEM Vol 212 Playlist
  1. Yazmin Lacey & Congi – Follow Me
  2. Frazier Blue – Baby Blue
  3. Gemma Dunleavy – Stop The Lights
  4. Space Basement Cult – Phil, The Self-Centered Weatherman
  5. Fog – Dehumidifier
  6. Rosehip Teahouse – I Meant What I Said
  7. Rosehip Teahouse – I’m Not Whole
  8. Maria BC – Adelaide
  9. Noé Solange – Falling
  10. Seraphina Simone – Blue Devil
  11. Serena Isioma – Why Am I So Toxic
  12. Sophie Sparham & Christopher Gregory – Sunrise Over Aldi
  13. The Dawdler – Don’t Get Blue
  14. Freelove Fenner – Shoulder Season

The artwork for this volume is by Shane Compton “Axiom #4” 2016 12” x 8” mixed media on laminated wood. Courtesy of Norman B’s collection

LEM Vol 212

Black Says

In a recent edition of Life Elsewhere Music we invited Josh Idehen and Tom Leaper of Benin City to talk about their new, timely single, Hold Them Close. A song, written over a year ago, that urges us all to remember to care about each other, even in these trying times of Covid-19. Josh Idehen wasted little time in expressing his displeasure of our so-called leaders in the UK and the US on how they have handled the pandemic and ongoing racial problems. Josh, along with being a talented musician, is also an acclaimed poet and spoken word artist was motivated to speak at an event in London, after the tragic murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. We have included the audio from the video of Josh Idehen reciting Black Says in the latest volume of Life Elsewhere Music. The powerful words of Josh Idehen’s Black Says can be heard at the end of this volume. Please listen carefully.

We begin with Know Like Dat by East Man. The cut is from Prole Art Threat the new LP by producer Anthony Hart, aka East Man. On this long-player, Anthony brings together talented MC’s from all over London. And, the title, Prole Art Threat is a big nod of respect to the late, Mark E Smith of The Fall. Next up I Left You a track from the debut EP y? by Julia Sophie from Oxford who says, I Left You” is a song about struggling with love and life, being torn in all kinds of directions, choosing how to live and who to live for”. We admit to being fascinated by covers, so the EP Reestablishing Connection from Sega Bodega demanded our attention. Teardrop originally by Massive Attack was selected as reworked by Sega Bodega & Lafewndah. Salvador Navarrete is Glaswegian producer, singer, songwriter, and label head aka Sega Bodega. He shares that all profits will be donated to the AIM COVID-19 Crisis Fund, providing vital support to contractors and freelance workers in the independent music industry. Next, it’s off to Reykjavic, Iceland the home of Katrín Helga Andrésdóttir – also known as Special K with Dinner For 1 from her EP, Lunatic Thirst. Followed by Alpha Steppa out of London featuring Eva Keyes with Fever and Fever Dub, from a superb compilation, Raise The Ark on Steppas Records. We stay in London to hear from Joel Baker with, London She’s Just Not You a cut from Bran Flakes Vol 1.5. Originally from Nottingham, Joel has made an LP you need to check out. Su Lee has a fascinating charm which she happily demonstrates in what appear to be her home-made videos. She also makes enjoyable “indie pop on speed” she insists. The delightful, Go My Way is from her EP The Rough. Barry Snaith is a big fan of this show as we are of him. In his guise as TIJ (The Inconsistent Jukebox), Mr. Snaith has produced a new LP. Gig Economy demonstrating his excellent taste and talent, you’ll hear Left Me In A Dream. Mark Gardener & 2 Square are next with Chained. Gardener is best known as a songwriter, lead vocalist, and guitarist with Ride and 2 Square is Stephan Haeri of Telepopmusik out of France. From rural England comes Archie Stagers with Beneath The Surface, who sent a sound file to us with this message: “I’ve really been enjoying your isolation mixes so far and wanted to submit a song of my own”. We discovered Archie Stagers runs a small indie label, Crafting Room Records – a not for profit label for passionate musicians, based in Wiltshire. From rural UK go over to Nashville to hear from Sophia Boro with And He Said To Me from her debut EP due out later this year. We close the show with the eloquent Josh Idehen and Black Says.

Thank you for listening

Life Elsewhere Music Vol 175 – Isolation Mix #1

Producing a weekly sixty-minute mix of new releases just became a little more difficult than usual because of the stay-in-place order. We cannot get into our studio to record, mix, and produce. Instead, our shows will be produced at home and that means the commentary may not sound so polished but the music will definitely sound as good as always. Until things change you’ll hear an open and close message and in between a non-stop music mix. The usual ad-libbed info about the cuts will be posted here, every week.

We begin with an artist out of Brooklyn, Margaret Glaspy with Killing What Keeps Us Alive from her album, Devotion. Don’t let the vocoder effect at the start of the song bother you, Ms. Glaspy has an excellent voice and on this outing, she proves she is a good songwriter. Next, we head to Halifax, Nova Scotia to hear So Tired from Nap Eyes, a cut from their fine Snapshot Of A Beginner album. The new single, Circles by Francis Of Delirium remind us that their earlier single this year, Quit Fucking Around is worth your opinion. So we have included both cuts. The band says this about themselves, “A sometimes rock band based in Luxembourg. Homemade indie rock from our hearts to yours.” Songwriter/Producer Mazlyn hails from Suffolk in the UK, his tune is Confessed. We have played Biig Piig on the before and gave a large thumbs up to the London-based Irish singer. We are continuing o rave with her latest, Switch. Clair Adams, Bobby Glew, and Kathy Grey are Nape Neck. Leeds is their hometown and they, unfortunately, list all the places they would have been playing along with a message saying there are more Euro dates coming. On a happier note, the sleeve artwork for their self-titled album is wonderful. You Stand, You Sit displays a band you need to check out. From the excellent LP, Less Of Everything we selected, Hidden Track by Es is next up. We hear Maria Cecillia Tedemalm, Katy Cotterel, Tamsin M Leach, and Flora Watters were putting on amazing live shows before being ensconced in their homes. All Or Nothing the title track from the LP of the same name by Shopping shows off their skills. From London originally, now the band are spread across the globe with Billy in LA and Andrew and Rachel in Glasgow. A change of genre for the next cut by San Francisco’s Monophonics. Day By Day from their LP, It’s Only Us, led by Kelly Finnigan the band has drawn on their colorful history, both their experiences as veteran touring performers and as individuals growing up in the Bay Area. Witch Prophet takes us in another direction with Makda from the album DNA Activation. Out of Toronto, produced by Sun Sun and Witch Prophet, named after Witch Prophet’s family members, and inspired by biblical stories, myths, and her Ethiopian, Eritrean roots. Seb Taylor is Kaya Project and says, “I present to you a song full of hope, love & devotion – another uplifting & optimistic track to counteract the uncertain times we are currently living through.” There are five different versions of Souls Entwined Featuring the beautiful vocals of Pooja Tiwari, together with two Classical Indian Violinists (Deepak Pandit & Kartik Raghunathan) & Hungarian Flute Virtuosa Fatima Gozlan making a cameo appearance in the middle of the track. We selected the bass-forward Digitalis Remix. The kora is an ancient African, 21-string harp-lute hand made from natural materials. “Our aim is to expose the beauty of this instrument to a more diverse audience,” said John Haycock & Alan Keary. Mostly recorded in an afternoon at Alan’s place to sell at a busking festival in Switzerland. You’ll hear Abode from the LP, John & Alan. Next, we bring you dubstep in fine style from Manchester’s Biome with Found You from Unreleased Dubs Part 2. Qiii Snacks Records are out of Guangzhou, China. We are not sure where Your Boyfriend Sucks are from but their EP Episode 2 is really cool and Mathias is a perfect example. Dub Invasion Records are out of Italy and Wellette Seyon’s Spiritual Thing is a worthy addition to this mix. The other side is a nice dub version. Staying on a Dub Reggae tip. The closing cut is Isaac Chambers featuring Dub Princess with Back To My Roots (Deep Fried Dub’s Refried Remix), from Melbourne, Australia. 

Make sure you let us know what you think of LEM Vol 175 – Isolation Mix #1

Be well, be safe and be nice. 

LEM Vol 175 

 

A Rare, Intimate Conversation With Colin Moulding

While XTC was founded in 1972, it wasn’t until 1979 that XTC had their first UK charting single. Although less prolific than his bandmate, Andy Partridge, bass-player, Colin Moulding wrote the first three charting singles Life Begins At The HopMaking Plans For Nigel, and Generals and Majors. By 2007 it was reported that Colin “was not interested in music”. Yet over the next couple of years, he made guest appearances on a number of recordings with various artists. Then, in 2017 Moulding announced that he and former XTC drummer, Terry Chambers had recorded a four-track EP, titled Great Aspirations.  The bass player and drummer began promoting their new project under the moniker of, TC&I and planned a small tour in England. After hearing the remarkable new recordings, and recognizing a large ongoing interest in XTC and Moulding, we set about arranging an intimate conversation with the Swindon-based musician. The result, an unabridged chat between Colin Moulding and Life Elsewhere host, Norman B. You’ll hear Colin talk about the early days of a fledgeling rock band, his early influences and a preference for an intuitive approach to songwriting. He also dismisses the ragged myths of unquenchable availability sex and drugs for young musicians, but he does endorse being reasonable while learning along the way. Colin Moulding is a gracious talented man and a delightful conversationalist. Make sure you don’t miss this edition of Life Elsewhere.

Photo by Laima Bite

Show #357

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