Five Things We Liked This Week – 01/12/17

Further Listening:

5. We’re Falling For Graham Coxon All Over Again

There’s a good chance you’ve never heard of the songwriter Luke Daniel; before this week we certainly never had. Last year, after a battle with chronic pain, Luke took his own life. Before his death, Luke wrote the song Falling, and this week Graham Coxon has shared his cover of the track, which will be released as a split single with Luke’s own version will all profits going to the excellent mental health charity, The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM).

Graham’s version of the track is his first release since his acclaimed 2012 solo album A+E. Graham’s version of Falling builds around a stunning Bert Jansch-like lead guitar line and Graham’s gentle, cracked vocal, before exploding into a chorus of drums and slide guitar. Lyrically it’s a haunting exploration of depression, and how it affects so much more than just the person involved. Suicide remains the biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK, here Graham aims to inspire hope and courage in support of all those directly affected by this epidemic, as well as bringing attention to the superb work by CALM – and we can only echo those excellent sentiments.

Falling is out December 15th with all proceeds going to CALM. Click HERE for more information on Graham Coxon.

4. Ezra Feinberg Takes Refuge

Ezra Feinberg is best known as the chief songwriter of the critically acclaimed, Dead Ocean signed band, Citay. Back in 2012, after years of extensive touring, Ezra folded the project and relocated from his native San Francisco to his new home, Brooklyn. The subsequent five years have included marriage, the loss of a close friend, and starting a family, which had Ezra questioning how to continue in music when the freedom of your youth is behind you. The result of that questioning is his debut album, Pentimento and Others, out next year on his own, Related States label.

The first taste of that record has come this week with the release of his new seven-minute long single, True Refuge.  True Refuge is a masterclass in slow building musicality; recalling the likes of Leo Kottke or Penguin Cafe Orchestra, it builds from a lone guitar which swells so gently and perfectly you barely notice as a cacophony of musical ideas engulfs you. In Ezra’s own words the album was influenced as much by his day job as a psychoanalyst as by his varied musical influences, an album that explores the inner working of the mind and offers a moment of escapism from the world of 24-hour news. It might be music for long after the party has ended, which is perhaps Ezra Feinberg is just what the world needs.

Pentimento and Others is out February 2nd via Related States, with a cassette release on Stimulus Progression. Click HERE for more information on Ezra Feinberg.

3. Pip Hall Eases Back In

One of the countries most exciting young songwriters, Preston’s Pip Hall is a musician taking her time. Following on from the well received James EP, released back in March, Pip has this week returned with her excellent new single, Ill At Ease.

A solo effort in the most truthful sense, Ill At Ease was written, recorded and produced by Pip herself. The intro instantly sets the tone, as a chunky-guitar line is joined by buzzing-synths and a multitude of choppy, pulsating vocal lines that bounce around your head. The track settles into an easy, rhythm as Pip’s soulful vocal howl does much of the melodic lifting. Lyrically the track is a study of Pip’s struggles as a hugely self conscious teenager, about overcoming her doubts and finding a way to be comfortable in her own skin. A cathartic and exciting offering, Pip Hall continues to lay her troubles down on the tape and make it sound like the most natural thing in the world.

Ill At Ease is out now via My Little Empire Records. Click HERE for more information on Pip Hall.

2. Slowly Fade Into Peggy Sue

With The Pirates long consigned to the annals of history, London-via-Brighton duo Peggy Sue are back with Slow Fade, their first new track in three years. Not that the duo have been idle, performing regularly with critically acclaimed, all-female singing group, Deep Throat Choir.

Slow Fade is a slice of perfect pop; alongside acts like The Wharves and Totally, Peggy Sue are tapping into a rich vein of classic 1960’s pop, and bringing it up to date with the fuzz of 1990’s alt-rock. Lyrically, the track explores the impossibility of rushing a broken heart along, as Katy from the band puts it, “heartbreak takes agesThat’s kind of the best and the worst thing about it. Slow Fade is about letting it take its time – partly because you don’t really have a choice and partly because a bit of me wanted to make that pretty sadness last as long as I could”.  Slow Fade is the first taste of an as yet undetailed new album due in the Spring next year: for now Slow Fade is a delightful return.

Click HERE for more information on Peggy Sue.

1. You Can Count On Field Music

“I’ve been down and angry about the state of everything lately”, so say’s Field Music’s David Brewis echoing a sentiment felt by many. While many of us felt hopeless, unable to emote that anger, David set it to music. The result is Count It Up, the new single from Field Music’s upcoming sixth album, Open Here. Looking at a broken system where privilege is rife and the misfortunes of the working classes too often placed on their own work ethic, Count It Up is a, “howl of rage set to what’s basically my version of ‘Material Girl”.

Open Here is the first new Field Music record in two years, a record born into a different world from their previous record, Common Time, it’s a record that questions the very fabric of the society we exist within. Musically too, Open Here is a very different record, while Common Time thought to strip Field Music back to their bare bones essence, Open Here is a wild expansion in all directions all at once. Count It Up is a fine example of this musical exploration, written on David’s son’s toy keyboard it is inspired by the likes of Talking Heads, Prince and Madonna. The track features classic Field Music-like choppy vocals, and infuses them with a disco-strut, saxophone like synth break-downs and even a very fleeting honky-tonk piano interlude. Like Sparks or Talking Heads, this is the sound of a band taking a hugely difficult subject manner and infusing it with a healthy dose of fun: as howls of rage against Brexit, unacknowledged privilege and xenophobic political movements go, Field Music’s might just be the most danceable. When Open Here emerges in February next year, it might just be Field Music’s most intriguing release to date.

Open Here is out February 2nd via Memphis Industries. Click HERE for more information on Field Music.

Header photo by Andy Martin – http://martintype.co.uk/

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