What music are we listening to at Polari HQ this week?
Little Bastard – Handsome Devil’s Club by Pure Love
“I’ll be the boy they say that they regret – but secretly still makes them wet,” has to be my favourite lyric of the year so far. The new single from ex Gallows frontman Frank Carter’s new project Pure Love has barely left my iPhone since I bought it (and I’m not at all biased just because he did a kick-arse tattoo on my arm… honest!) It was the standout song for me when I saw their first ever gig on Valentines Day, and with its old school punk riffs, dirty, grimey lyrics and a melody I can’t get out of my head, it’s the sordid side of love and is perfect for dancing down the street to in the blistering sunshine. Finally, my summer rock song is here – I just wish I could be playing the album to death too.
Bryon Fear – Continued Silence Ep by Imagine Dragons
Back in the late ’90s I would often buy CDs purely on the strength of a great piece of album art. Usually great designers are coupled with great bands (Peter Saville & Factory Records for example) and I have found that, 9 times out of 10, if I like the album design, the same follows for the music. With this in mind, I downloaded Continued Silence EP on the strength of its arresting cover art: in a misty forest, a man holding onto a briefcase floats mid-air, his back arched above the ferns below. And again, I have not been disappointed by my blind purchase. The EP is formed of 6 perfect indie pop anthems. These punchy uplifting tracks (2 of them coming in under 3 minutes) remind me of the songs that soundtracked my L.A. summer of 1997 by bands like Third Eye Blind. Imagine Dragons combine the pop perfection of The Wanted with an Indie band sensibility. A favourite already!
Michael Langan – Running Up That Hill by Kate Bush
Since the closing ceremony of the London Olympics I have been listening obsessively to the remix of Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill. She saved my life when I was 15 so can do no wrong in my eyes but I truly love how she has added layers to this song in the same way that age has added depth to her maturing voice. It’s just great music making. I have also been listening to Bat for Lashes who have an album coming out in October and the single ‘Laura’ is a great taster of what’s to come. Natasha Kahn has been overshadowed by the current tranche of successful female vocalists but she deserves to be up there with the best of them – and she’s a wonderful songwriter. ‘Laura’ really tugs at the heartstrings.
Christopher Bryant – Hadestown by Anais Mitchell
I’m listening to Anais Mitchell’s folk opera Hadestown. The sound is acoustic and raw, with a multitude of disparate voices, featuring Mitchell as Eurydice, Ani DiFranco as Persephone, Justin Vernon as Orpheus, Greg Brown as Hades, and the Haden Triplets as The Fates. Honestly, it’s hard to describe without putting people off, but here goes: Hadestown tells the story of Eurydice and Orpheus in a post-apocalyptic American depression era. It’s not a concept album, it’s a story told through song. The talent on here is exceptional. And it has been so beautifully produced that you feel every second. Take a listen to three of the tracks on Mitchell’s website. I think it is absolutely remarkable.