Heavy Rotation: McFadden & Whitehead, Shalamar, Edith Piaf, Sigma

My week just gone has been filled with the funk and disco of Shalamar and McFadden & Whitehead, and the classical romance of celebrated French chanteuse, Edith Piaf. Continue reading

Jam of the Week: SZA – Drew Barrymore

Missouri singer SZA has been a firm favourite of mine since discovering her in the early half of 2014. She makes wavy, psychedelic R&B and neo-soul, similar to Kelela and Jhené Aiko, and she has a voice that will say with you for days. Continue reading

Bat for Lashes – The Bride review

Bat for Lashes press shot, 2016, 01 (1500x844)Natasha Khan revels in the unusual and the antiquated. The Bride, her fourth full-length in her guise of Bat for Lashes, is a tale of macabre beauty and tragedy. Continue reading

Jam of the Week: Bat for Lashes – In God’s House

Bat for Lashes, July 27, 2012, press photo by Eliot Lee Hazel, 01 (1920x1080)God bless Natasha Khan. Whether its dancing in Shoreditch nightclubs dressed in flower-pattern pyjamas (trust me) or making surreal musical concoctions of electronics and acoustics, she does her thing with innocence self-assurance. Continue reading

Choice Cuts: Gorillaz – Demon Days

Parlophone Records, 2005Gorillaz - Demon Days artwork, wallpaper edit (1024x576)A gimmick. That’s what they put Gorillaz’ success down to. Despite everything that had been achieved by this unusual musical concoction in the 18 months since the launch of their 2001 debut album, detractors still labelled them a here today, gone tomorrow band. But little did they know that the virtual band, created by musician, Damon Albarn, and cartoonist, Jamie Hewlett, would front what would later be acknowledged as one of the most influential and progressive records of the noughties: Demon Days. Continue reading

Blur – The Magic Whip first impressions

Blur - Graham Coxon, Damon Albarn, Mode, London, Mar 20, 2015, by HelDavies, 01 (1280x720)On Friday, March 20, 2015, Blur played the entirety of The Magic Whip, the band’s first new album as a four-piece in over 10 years, for fans, competition winners and selected media at Mode, London.

A one-time video stream of the concert was broadcast tonight, so I thought I’d scribble down some impressions as I watched it. This is a summary of those impressions. Continue reading

Jam of the Week: Blur – Go Out

Blur - British Summer Time, Hyde Park poster (1416x797)As if news of Gorillaz return in 2016 wasn’t enough already. Yesterday, Blur announced their first new album as four-piece in 16 years. Should the rumoured The Good, the Bad & the Queen follow-up somehow be in the mix, I’ll be doing back flips down the street. Blur’s new album, titled The Magic Whip, started from jam sessions in the “claustrophobic and hot” confides of a Hong Kong studio, following a cancelled show in Japan. Guitarist Graham Coxon and long-time Blur producer Stephen Street developed these sessions until, as drummer Dave Rowntree put it, “we all realised we’d done something quite special there”. Continue reading