It’s time for something new. Or, rather, old. In starting this new, ad hoc series, titled Heavy Rotation, I plan to throw a little light on the artists, albums and songs that I have been listening to frequently, ones I missed, and generally music which I feel deserves attention.
Consider this my Time Out-style hot picks: no more than five minutes to read, and guaranteed to lead you to people or things that will give you hours of pleasure.
If I find myself having time to do these posts more frequently, I may try to put together a Spotify playlist to accompany it.
We start off this new series with an enchanting jazz singer, who is new to me, Angeline Morrison, the rising gospel goddess Eryn Allen Kane, and film composer Michael Giacchino.
Angeline Morrison – Are You Ready Cat? (2013)
Angeline Morrison is perfect Sunday listening. A lover of classic jazz, bossa nova and “early 60s beat pop”, her debut album, Are You Ready Cat?, blooms with the inviting cool of Astrud Gilberto, Dusty Springfield, and Henry Mancini.
Various Artists – Pan Am: Music from and inspired by the Original Series (2011)
You don’t need to see ABC’s period drama about the pilots and stewardesses of the eponymous US airline at the beginning of the 1960s to enjoy the music here. Featuring classics by Bobby Darin, Count Basie, Peggy Lee, Shirley Horn, Dinah Washington, as well as Latin favourites like ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ and ‘Mas Que Nada’, this soundtrack strikes up the perfect atmosphere for jet-setting during the golden age of Pan Am airways.
Eryn Allen Kane – Aviary: Act II EP (2016)
Eryn Allen Kane is a singer you give your fullest attention to. Boasting a big, soulful voice that something like Etta James meets Fleur East, she will lift you higher with her powerful gospel soul music.
Beck – Odelay (1996)
Beck’s Odelay had its 20th anniversary in 2016. If you’ve not given this salad bowl of genres, unusual instrumentation and strange exclamations a listen, delay no longer.
Michael Giacchino – Inside Out Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2015)
Michael Giacchino is a musical god. Whatever the project (Star Trek, Star Wars, Pixar films, et al), whatever the mood, he has a profound ability to bring indelible feeling, conjuring stories and scenes from instrumentation alone. Having recently watched Pixar’s Inside Out – one of the most touching films I’ve seen in a long time – this latest Giacchino score has become a favourite of mine for concentration and comfort when I’m feeling uninspired.
Images: collage (clockwise from top left) Freestyle Records; Geffen Records; Walt Disney; Eryn Allen Kane. Images and photos belong to respective parties