5. This Is Kiran Leonard’s Legacy
It’s a rapid return to our weekly round-up for Saddleworth’s most famous musical son. Kiran Leonard is set to release his latest album, Western Culture, next month on Moshi Moshi, and has this week shared the latest track from it, the eight minute opus, Legacy Of Neglect.
Featuring backing vocals courtesy of Let’s Eat Grandma, Kiran has suggested Legacy Of Neglect is a track on two themes, culture and class. On Culture, Kiran suggests it has a, “weird dual meaning”, both something in, “a constant state of flux” and something “static and possessed, a ‘heritage’ you can draw upon when the world seems precarious”. On Class, Kiran rails against a patronising tone to analysis of socio-political developments, “fascism never was, never will be a popular movement, it has always been a creation and servant of the elite”. It is a track that is lyrically as thought provoking as ever, and equally creative musically; it shifts through various guises, from the buzz of an organ that acts as an intro, it morphs through moments of minimal acoustic-folk, clattering emotional maths rock and serene orchestral passages, never losing focus or outstaying its welcome. With each new release, Kiran Leonard pushes himself and his listener, he begs we remain as curious as his creations, as willing to take this journey with him as he is to lead us wherever it goes, invest in Kiran Leonard’s music and be duly rewarded.
Western Culture is out November 9th via Moshi Moshi. Click HERE for more information on Kiran Leonard.
4. Hollywood’s A Failure Head For Palm Springs
First emerging back in 2014, Palm Springs is a vehicle for the solo material of Erica Dunn, known for her work with Tropical Fuck Storm and Mod Con. Erica’s new record, made in collaboration with Dick Diver’s Steph Hughes and Paul Pirie, is set for release next month, and this week Erica’s shared the first track from the record, Hollywood Failure.
Hollywood Failure is a beautifully low-key folk-pop song, the minimal instrumentation brings Erica’s strong vocal melodies to the fore, as guitars meander around and a steady bass pulse holds the whole thing together. Citing influences like Karen Dalton and Pip Proud, Erica’s songwriting has a certain unfashionable charm, a sound that could have come from anytime in the last 50 years, and is all the better for it.
Palm Springs & Friends is out November 30th via Tender Collection. Click HERE for more information on Palm Springs.
3. Pom Poko Are Out For Blood
Pom Poko are a Norwegian quartet, formed at the Trondheim Music Conservatory, yet their sound is arguably as influenced by West-African music and the American-underground as they are anything from their home country. The band are set to release their debut album, Birthday, early next year on Bella Union, and have this week shared their excellent, and slightly bonkers, new single, My Blood.
Frenetic barely does My Blood justice, it is a track that seems to just flash by in a wall of squalling noise and deceptively beautiful, yelped vocals. Even the quieter, slower sections of the track seem to only serve to make the break-neck changes of direction seem even more jarring. Pom Poko recall acts like Weaves or Deerhoof with their blend of effervescence, creativity and most of all fun, when their new album arrives next year it will be a party an awful lot more people are invited to.
Birthday is out February 22nd via Bella Union. Click HERE for more information on Pom Poko.
2. H.C. McEntire Is Going To The Dogs
As the frontwoman of Mount Moriah, H.C. McEntire had already garnered plenty of acclaim, and on the basis of the guests on her debut solo album, LIONHEART, also an awful lot of very talented friends. Featuring collaborations with the likes of Mary Lattimore, William Tyler and Kathleen Hanna, the record won over many with its boundary pushing take on the classic country sound.
Ahead of UK dates with Natalie Prass starting next week, H.C. has shared the video to the record’s latest single, Wild Dogs, a duet with Angel Olsen. It’s something of a role reversal as H.C. has been singing backing vocals in Angel’s live band for the last year. Wild Dogs is a track far more adventurous than a cursory listen would have you think. On first play it sounds almost spare, yet alongside the prominent drum machine are layers of strings, harp and those wonderfully crisp harmonies, a sort of understated orchestral minimalism. Lyrically, it tracks the passage of a relationship from the visceral early lust, “when we were wild dogs”, through to the terrifying moment you conclude you’re ready to throw yourself entirely into it. Intriguing, different and against the grain of what a country-singer is “meant” to sing about, LIONHEART is a record that feels like someone embracing their talents and finding their voice: a quiet triumph.
LIONHEART is out now via Merge Records. Click HERE for more information on H.C. McEntire.
1. We’re Diggin The New Ryley Walker Single
You’ve just released your most complex, intriguing and quite possibly best record to date, so what do you do next? Well if you’re Ryley Walker, you release a series of re-imaginations of The Dave Matthews Band’s lost 2001 album, The Lily-white Sessions: obvious really. Having released the excellent, Deafman Glance earlier this year, Ryley’s take on DMB will arrive next month, and this week he’s shared the second offering from it, Diggin’ A Ditch.
While Dave Matthews’ original offered just a tiny chink of light at the end of a lifetime of soul crushing disappointment, Ryley gives it a full blown power-trio reinvention, creating a of ferocious, feral noise that sounds absolutely nothing like the middle of the road. If the original lingers in the corners and wallows in its darkness, Ryley kicks off the cobwebs, and kicks out the jams. It’s an unexpected sojourn in the Ryley Walker back-catalogue, but releasing the throttle, he sounds as different and exciting as ever.
The Lilywhite Sessions is out November 16th via Dead Oceans. Click HERE for more information on Ryley Walker.
Header photo is Ryley Walker. Photo by Evan Jenkins – https://www.evanpjenkins.com