Make a cuppa, pull up the blankies, Kirsten Johnstone and the Song Crush team serve up toasty new tunes to warm you up. This week's show includes The Comet is Coming, Iron & Wine and Calexico and Jordan Rakei amongst others.
The Comet Is Coming – Summon The Fire
The rare song that’s perfectly named, this English electro-jazz trio summon the fire courtesy of King Shabaka’s honking saxophone, riding a groove from bandmates Danalogue and Betamax (on synths and drums respectively). It’s a song that doesn’t need vocals to grab your attention, perfect for adding some heat to your frosty winter morning. TS
Calexico + Iron and Wine - What Heaven’s Left
The second collaboration between Iron & Wine and Calexico, Years to Burn is a warm hug of an album. Sam Beam, who has collaborated with other musicians on 3 of his last 4 albums, sets the tone of the record with this sweet love song. With his signature rattly acoustic guitar sound at the start, this could be a regular Iron & Wine song but when Calexico join in, they add a whole new dimension. The harmonies and horn section in particular bring a lot of depth to the sound of the track. The last minute and half melts into a wonderful, soulful, brassy jam that I could listen to for twice as long. EC
Kishi Bashi - Summer Of '42
Kishi Bashi’s album Omoiyari explores a turbulent time in world history - WWII, and specifically the Japanese internment camps that were set up in the wake of the Pearl Harbour bombing of 1941. It reflects our current political climate as well, but Kishi Bashi wants us to focus on the humanity that unites us all.
He says “I didn’t want this project to be about history, but rather the importance of history, and the lessons we can learn. I gravitated toward themes of empathy, compassion, and understanding as a way to overcome fear and intolerance.”
Sitting in the middle of an album is a song of love and loss that is dramatic, swooning, nostalgic and captures that desperate feeling of wanting to shout about your love from the rooftops, and regret for the one that got away. KJ
Jordan Rakei – Mind’s Eye
I’ve been a long time fan of Jordan Rakei who has been steadily and assuredly honing his neo-soul, jazz sound. I had the pleasure of seeing him perform before he released his 2016 debut Cloak, there was something sophisticated and captivating about the young Antipodean’s performance then (he has roots in Aotearoa but was raised in Australia). Now signed to the respected Ninja Tune label, the London-based Rakei is now collaborating with artists as varied as Disclosure and hit-maker extraordinaire Nile Rogers (Chic, David Bowie, Madonna, Daft Punk).
In ‘Mind’s Eye’ you get a hint of Roger’s signature ‘chucking’ guitar sound as well as the elements that are part of Rakei’s sonic universe. A super chill and cerebral bit of soul jazz for your winter YS
Hatchie - Unwanted Guest
Hatchie is a singer, songwriter and bassist from Perth and a member of the band Babaganouj as well as solo artist. She cites bands like the Cocteau Twins (whose front man Robin Guthrie remixed her single 'Sure') and Alvvays as influences as well as Aussie pop stars Kylie Minogue and Natalie Imbrugllia. As a result of this diverse taste in sounds, her debut album Keepsake is a blend of melodic pop grooves and fuzzy shoegaze guitars. 'Unwanted Guest' is a great example of how her music manages to be retro in feel without being a pastiche. It'll also get stuck in your head for days. EC
Kamandi - Let them Be
Kamandi - real name (Tyrone Frost) is a Christchurch raised, LA based producer who is making organic sounding electronic music right now that hits my nostalgia buttons. The synth sound in the middle (Tony reckons it’s the classic acid-house synth Roland TB303) will take you right back to the raves of late last century, albeit the chill tent at 5am. KJ
Listen to all our song crushes for 2019 here