Summer is flying by, grab hold and hang on! Here's a soundtrack for the ride.
I stumbled upon a band of two brothers, The Lemon Twigs, and was instantly entranced. Just signed to 4AD, their single "These Words" is fantastic. Beatles harmonies, Meters beats, Nicky Hopkins style piano, epic arrangements -- it's a three and half minute trip. I expect big things from these folks, their debut album, produced by ex-Foxygen Jonathan Rado, is due out later this year.
The Avalanches' new record, Wildflower, is really great. I was a big fan of their first, Since I Left You, back in 2000. A masterpiece of sample pop pastiche, they essentially did it again, it just took them 16 years this time. Lots of great guest appearances too.
New compilations from two of my favorite labels also out recently.
Analog Africa dug deep to produce "Space Echo - The Mystery Behind the Cosmic Sound of Cabo Verde Finally Revealed!" The story alone is worth reading -- a cargo ship filled with organs, synths, and musical gear disappears on its way to a music expo and reappears off the coast of Cape Verde three months later. The liner notes on this one amazing and hard to believe.
Soul Jazz records has stepped it up as of late with Venezuela 70 – Cosmic Visions Of A Latin American Earth: Venezuelan Experimental Rock In The 1970s. They describe it as a collection of “the groundbreaking experimental rock music made in Venezuela and created in the 1970s”. And that's what it sounds like. So much fun.
Soul Jazz also just released Nigeria Freedom Sounds! Popular Music and The Birth Of Independent Nigeria 1960-63. For anyone that is into Nigerian music, this is worth a listen as it documents the sounds there before late 60s/70s Nigerian music (Fela Kuti, Orlando Julius, King Sunny Ade, William Onyeabor) made it into Western ears.
I'm loving the sounds of summer 2016 thus far. I hope you are too!