Friday, May 24, 2024

The Beatles - i'm only sleeping, 1966

"The first draft of Lennon's lyrics for "I'm Only Sleeping", written on the back of a letter from 1966, suggests that he was writing about the joys of staying in bed rather than any drug euphoria sometimes read into the lyrics. While not on tour, Lennon would usually spend his time sleeping, reading, writing or watching television, often under the influence of drugs, and would have to be woken by McCartney for their songwriting sessions.[9] In a London Evening Standard article published on 4 March 1966, Maureen Cleave, a friend of Lennon, wrote: "He can sleep almost indefinitely, is probably the laziest person in England."

David Gilmour - there's no way out of here cover, 1978

"Stepping out of Pink Floyd’s shadow, Gilmour had championed the British folk-rock band Unicorn, around the time of Wish You Were Here, producing their very good third album Too Many Crooks (1976). One of the tracks on it, ‘No Way Out of Here’ penned by Unicorn bandleader Ken Baker, impressed Gilmour so much that he covered it for inclusion on his solo album, modifying the title to ‘There’s No Way Out of Here’, but preserving the feel, structure and tone of the original. It was even released as a single and Gilmour staged an excellent live performances to help promote it, however without the Pink Floyd ‘handle’, it flopped in the charts."

The Triffids - blinder by the hour, 1986

"It's the weight of lyrics which have been far more personal now... so intensely personal you can almost feel the pain"

Prince Far I - ten commandments, 1999

"Before the album was finished he was shot at his home in Kingston, Jamaica, during a robbery, allegedly relating to a dispute over money, and died later in hospital. Adrian Sherwood, deeply upset by the murder of his friend, took a production hiatus from his beloved reggae genre and in 1983 recorded with his group Circut and Neneh Cherry, "Dead Come Alive". Prince Far I is also referred to by The Clash in their single "Clash City Rockers" and also by The Mountain Goats in the song "Sept. 15th 1983", a reference to the date of his death."

The Radio Dept - against the tide, 2002

"The person is questioning what they’re doing in life so they want to take a risk but they’re afraid of the outcome it might have so they opt-out to “falling against the tide” which means they’re gonna stick to what they’re comfortable with and familiar with."

Pete Astor - model village, 2024

"2024 marks 40 years of Pete Astor making records, a suitable anniversary point at which to take stock and double back on songs that first appeared on records by Astor-fronted combos such as Creation Records trailblazers The Loft and The Weather Prophets and Matador recording artists The Wisdom of Harry, as well as selections from solo albums that appeared on labels such as Danceteria and Static Caravan. Astor’s motivation for Tall Stories & New Religions, his new album, which will be out on Tapete Records March 15th, 2024, is manifold: some songs are effectively re-examined in the way one might linger over a resonant picture from a box of old photographs -connecting with the essence of a younger self-, other songs are newly recast in wiser and more reflective hues, while others simply demanded exhumation from wilfully opaque, lo fi non- production."

Justice And Tame Impala - one night all night, 2024

"We wanted ['One Night/All Night'] to sound as if a dark / techno iteration of Justice had found a sample of a disco iteration of Kevin Parker. Kevin has a sense of melody that’s fascinating in the sense that he manages to write melodies that feel both simple and natural, but very peculiar at the same time. This song oscillates between pure electronic music and pure disco but you never really get the two at the same time. This very idea of switching instantly from a genre to another within a song runs through the whole record, and is maybe showcased the clearest in ‘One Night/All Night.’ [...] To us, ['Generator'] sounds like ‘Getaway’ by the Salsoul Orchestra, but with gabber and classic ’90s hardcore techno sounds. Disco / funk and electronic music at large have always been core elements of the music we make as Justice. In Hyperdrama, we make them coexist, but not in a peaceful way. We like this idea of making them fight a bit for attention."

Bee Gees - heartbreaker, 2001

"The Bee Gees' own version, with Barry Gibb on lead vocals, was recorded in 1994. It was originally planned for an album called Love Songs to be released in 1995, but was eventually released in 2001 on Their Greatest Hits: The Record.[6] "Heartbreaker" was originally recorded as a single released on the Yep Roc label in 2019. Later it was released on a full length (Walkabout) originally released in Australia to commemorate their tour of the continent. Eventually it was released for the rest of the world as well.

Black Box Recorder - the deverell twins, 2000

"In St Bartholomew's Churchyard at Lower Basildon, there is a joint tomb for two sons of Edward and Priscilla Deverell. Both boys drowned together bathing in Thames. The tombstone reads "They were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided."

Tilly And The Wall - fell down the stairs, 2004

"Tilly and the Wall are an indie rock group which formed in Omaha, Nebraska, United States in 2001. The band consists of Derek Pressnall (vocals, guitar), his wife Jamie Pressnall (tap dancer), Neely Jenkins (vocals, bass), Kianna Alarid (vocals, recorder, bass) and Nick White (keyboards). The band has gained notoriety for having a tap dancer provide percussion instead of a drummer (although drums and drum machines are occasionally used on some of their recordings, and Pressnall is usually complemented by Alarid and Jenkins stomping on the floor)."

Neva Dinova - tryptophan, 2008

"Tryptophan affects brain serotonin synthesis when given orally in a purified form and is used to modify serotonin levels for research. Low brain serotonin level is induced by administration of tryptophan-poor protein in a technique called acute tryptophan depletion. Studies using this method have evaluated the effect of serotonin on mood and social behavior, finding that serotonin reduces aggression and increases agreeableness."

Thursday, May 23, 2024

The Beatles - she's leaving home, 1967

“She’s Leaving Home” produced a brilliant set of lyrics addressing the impact of depression on the psyche. It tells of a young woman who tries to cope with loss of identity while finding the courage to run away from home, “leaving the note that she hoped would say more.” Resulting in confusion from the well-meaning family left behind. So often experienced when necessary moments of change arrive."

James - sound, 1991

"Doubtless this will infuriate James pop fan contingent expecting another ‘Come Home’. Instead James do the decent thing and spread their wings with a grace and elegance which – despite what people say – saves them from stadiumitis. There are stadium-guitar traits here, but thankfully, they don’t come wrapped up in the bombastic shroud widely reported of their recent live shows. Sound (even the title works on various levels) is a layered number with a nice urgent bassline and flickering guitars. Tim Booth, meantime, sounds less fraught than his ‘Gold Mother’ era, though still uncomfortable with the world in general. I like him."

The Embassy - it's always a new thing, 2013

"Melodic, beat-driven, and shiny enough to scan as commercial pop, but with wounded vocals and occasionally sloganeering lyrics that do, indeed, blur the line between innocence and a giant put-on, the Embassy inspired other artists with its iconoclastic spirit as much as its ecumenical anorak-house sound."

Damien Jurado - return to maraqopa, 2014

"The album detailed his character’s emergence from a car crash only to wander back into Maraqopa. Upon his return, the denizens of the town, all named Silver, began to allude to the character being a sort of prophet or “beacon between Heaven and Earth,” as Jurado once said."

Prefab Sprout - goodbye lucille one, 1985

"When Thomas Dolby began working with Prefab Sprout, McAloon played him a number of songs without telling him what period they belonged to. McAloon felt that because he had played the songs live so many times, he could no longer be objective about them. "Goodbye Lucille #1" is one of three songs included on Steve McQueen dating to the band's initial lineup, the others being "Faron Young" and "Bonny". According to Ian Pye of Melody Maker, "Goodbye Lucille #1" features "a beautifully haunting vocal from Wendy Smith"."

Bee Gees - holiday, 1967

"We were kids together, and teenagers. We spent the whole of our lives with each other because of our music. I can't accept that he's dead. I just imagine he's alive somewhere else."

Black Box Recorder - gsoh qed, 2003

"So exquisitely English that they make Radiohead, Coldplay and even Her Majesty the Queen seem like Bud-guzzling rednecks, Black Box Recorder are the pop project of Luke Haines, whose other band, the Auteurs, is a kind of hate-filled version of the Kinks. In this case, pop means honeyed synthesizer melodies acting as a Trojan horse for splendidly seedy lyrics about classified-ad dating, teenage lust and the horrors of the British school system."

The Smile - teleharmonic, 2024

"This is the track that sticks out the most because it can appeal to many people of different tastes. If you were to leave this review listening to only one song on this album, I would advise you to choose “Teleharmonic” because it is simply just a good song."

The Radio Dept - bachelor kisses cover, 2008

"Swedish band, The Radio Dept., recorded an exclusive cover of "Bachelor Kisses", for the August 2007 issue of the Swedish fanzine I Godan Ro. Only 10 copies of that issue were printed. The track was subsequently included in their compilation album Passive Aggressive: Singles 2002–2010."

The Cranberries - animal instinct, 1999

“It’s like a hearty song, and it’s about a hearty thing. It’s just about love that comes when you’re carrying a child, when you give birth to a child and stuff when you become a parent. It’s the animal instinct, it’s a protection feeling that you’ve never felt before for anything […] I am a different person than I was two years ago. Women are extraordinary creatures really, you know, I mean the fact that we can give birth, what the bodies can do is pretty amazing, and feed, feed children with your own body […] It’s a pretty cool thing really, and it does change you, it makes you a lot more confident and happy in yourself makes you more thankful.”

Beach House - beyond love, 2015

"It's probably Beach House's most raw and emotionally potent song. If any track were to perfectly encapsulate the essense of Depression Cherry, Beyond Love is that song."

The Lightning Seeds - bound in a nutshell, 1990

"Cloudcuckooland was an antidote to the brewing Alternative Rock / Grunge of the then new decade. It opened with the bubbly Pop of “All I Want,” which Broudie co-wrote with the similarly silky-voiced Peter Coyle – the vocalist of the classic English New Romantic band The Lotus Eaters (“The First Picture of You”). The bright mood immediately turned gloomy with the heartrending sentiments of the piano-led, jazzy Baroque/Synthpop ballad “Bound in a Nutshell,” which exuded echoes of China Crisis (“Black Man Ray”), Frazier Chorus (“Dream Kitchen”), and The Blue Nile (“Tinseltown in the Rain”). This was then followed by what has become The Lightning Seeds’ anthemic single—the candy-cane sweet and marshmallow soft “Pure,” which is a concoction of synthesized flutes, horns, and other orchestral instruments of wonder."