Ah, it’s mid summer.
A time of hazy, sunny evenings.
As the organisers of Wimbledon erect their “Sale! Punnet of Strawberry’s: only £50” signs (complete with grocer’s comma) it’s the time of year that allows me to drag out the only Wimbledon-related joke I know:
Q. What time does Sean Connery arrive at Wimbledon?
I’m here all week ladies and gentlemen.
Today is the half way point of the year and a good moment to reflect on all the music that has been conjured from the ether by all those talented musician-types we keep talking about.
Ah, new music. Probably not a bad idea to mention the new stuff after a few weeks of Elton, Yes and Pink Floyd. Carry on like that and people will get the wrong idea.
So to correct the balance and give the impression ERTAS is still a hip and happening place to linger (we all know it isn’t, but hey, let’s keep up the pretence for a moment), here’s a playlist of a couple of dozen tracks that have caught the ear so far this year. It’s far from exhaustive, but twenty four tracks is plenty for one sitting, and hopefully there will be one or two new things on there for you.
We start with excellent two debut albums by Shame and Dream Wife. Both of these bands featured in these pages earlier in the year.
Then from Sunderland we have Field Music. The final track on their superb seventh album “Open Here” is a lovely, pastoral sounding piece from an album that reminds me of “Duke” by Genesis, which may not sound like a compliment but is.
“Static Resistance” from Hookworms sees the Leeds-based band add some decent tunes to their drone-based psychedelia and “Loner Boogie” comes from the debut LP by Boy Azooga, who channel a QOTSA-meets-Beta-Band vibe.
Fans of Hot Chocolate will enjoy Ty Segall’s cover of “Every 1’s A Winner”, Belle and Sebastian produce a delightful and quite beautiful melody in “A Plague On Other Boys”, and Sweden’s The Amazing deliver the goods with their latest album of shimmering, jangly indie-pop.
Other highlights include songs from the latest Parquet Courts, Courtney Barnett and Gaz Coombes albums, a cheeky number from Janelle Monae and some rockers from Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Idles.
What are your tracks of the year so far? Let me know in the comments below…