Sons and Daughters
Fried from freezing, February’s discs are prophetic, dangerous, spirited and indulgent - breaking the ice and firing up Valentine’s. Old rebels RAY DAVIES and BOB MOULD Mould have outstanding discs this month, but so soon into the year let’s focus on relatively new rabble-rousers working inside the system and slightly beyond.
Jason Collett - Here’s to Being Here
Album title: Here’s to Being Here
Record Label: Arts & Crafts
Friendly ambling narratives and slippery rhymes highlight a lyrically lubricated troubadour of sophisticated fictions. Here jumps a blues train that moans and sputters winding behind fickle hobo hearts while Collett’s rockin’ roots beats propel hip bohemia against the shuffling lilt of ghostly folk and the novel application of cock-eyed pop.
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Flowers Forever - Flowers Forever
Album title: Flowers Forever
Record Label: Team Love
Partying with a vengeance, Tilly and the Wall’s Derek Pressnall toss urgent and eclectic thought bombs for a monster block of wild-eyed vaudeville, sonic torpedoes and toreador flourishes. Shouting and soldiering righteously before bouncing along in unconditional whimsy, woozy brass circle sinister syncopation as gypsy sparks collide against prankster jams and shredded regalia.
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Flowers Forever online:
Kula Shaker - Strange Folk
Album title: Strange Folk
Record Label: Cooking Vinyl
Slithering hippie metaphysics turns into slightly dour flower power as the newly-worldly KS assess the new century in rump-shaking sass, nature love songs and symphonic psychedelia. Ushering in another round of bell-bottom ashram rock, England’s astralnauts serenade sweet lotus-eaters riding electric funk, battle urban arrogance with over-sized hooks and concoct folk-epics condemning corporate Maya.
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Lightspeed Champion - Falling Off the Lavender Bridge
Album title: Falling Off the Lavender Bridge
Record Label: Domino Records
Shining folk-soul pop washed in unabashed confession, acoustic fragments sprinkled over dreamy lyrics and warm, twangy arrangements - Champion’s charming inventiveness spins personable homespun theatrics that conjure honest and palatable feelings. An easy-chair and sunlit window, Bridge spans intimate inspirations and open invitations, mixing universal moods over laid-back grooves taking flight.
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Eric Matthews - The Imagination Stage
Album title: The Imagination Stage
Record Label: Empyrean
A bold, smoky-voiced balladeer sauntering through lonely harmonies, grand, sweeping themes and sentimental melodies - Matthews rolls out the big guns with casual gallantry crafting smoldering symphonic spaces and subtly blustery jazz for evocative philosophy at the Heartbreak Hotel. Enveloping the listener slowly, Matthews’ foggy phosphorescence attracts vagabond songs sprinkled among romantic temptations.
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Eric Matthews online:
Sons And Daughters - This Gift
Album title: This Gift
Record Label: Domino Records
Inspiring the inner punk to take to the dance floor and let loose, Gift boldly goes beyond new wave frontiers. Trashing Clash clichés with post-modern panache, SAD’s razor-sharp shimmies and Cossack rock thunder throbs like slick war path hoopla as images of Deborah Harry and Chrissie Hynde conjure terrific riff rock sock hops.
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It’s a wide world of wonder in February with interesting mixtures of international styles. Avant-garde percussionist STEVE REID went to the home of drums for the dense but fluid Daxaar, while Indian bamboo flutist DEEPAK RAM’s soaring Steps transform Coltrane, Brubeck and Gershwin into intriguing butterfly meditations. Ghana highlife infiltrates hot jazz and vice versa as APHRODESIA’s high-stepping be-bop, Lagos by Bus busts moves and churn tradition while Amazonian lagoons harbor swooning shaman two-steps, tripped-out sambas, whip-lashed cha-chas and psycho-funky polkas in Luka Bop’s lusciously layered, What’s Happening in Pernambuco. Finally, for those who like to stay closer to home there is Hernando by NORTH MISSISSIPPI ALLSTARS. Rip-snorting solos, hot rod rockabilly, sonic rock and break neck boogie dips from Dixie to Detroit for a backwoods trip that stings, slides, stomps and shakes.