Doom folk, te reo Māori electronica, sample based soul and Jeff Goldblum's lounge album are some of the things discussed in Song Crush this week, but beware of tangents everywhere.
Host Kirsten Johnstone is joined by Melody Thomas, Tony Stamp, and Nick Tipping.
Kirsten is planning an audience choice Song Crush - Email your song of 2019 and your reasons for loving it to firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday November 19th for consideration.
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- Listen to He Kākano Ahau - a podcast about urban Māori culture here
Lankum - Wild Rover
It has to be a great song, to still have resonance around five hundred years after it was written. ‘Wild Rover’ is sung in Irish pubs the world over, and used as a rousing cry from the Celtic Football club in Scotland, it’s been covered by The Dubliners, The Pogues, and Rolf Harris to name a few.
But this version of Wild Rover is like none you’ve ever heard before. Lankum’s version is over ten minutes long, and as heavy and drony as doom bands like Sunn O))) and Earth. With rich, creamy harmonies and a very old and forgotten last verse, this Irish doom-folk band hammer home the original prohibitionist intent of the song. KJ
SoccerPractise - Te Pō
This is the title track from SoccerPractise’s forthcoming album Te Pō, which will be released later this month along with visuals made by Dan Harris and Erica Sklenars. The song refers to Hine-Nui-Te-Pō, the goddess of death, and more specifically to the story of how Maui tried to beat death. Bascially, Maui conjured up this clever plan to climb inside Hine-Nui-Te-Pō’s vagina and kill her from the inside. When the watching pīwakawaka (fantail) saw Maui half inside the goddess they started to laugh, their tittering woke her up and she crushed him with her vagina.
As SoccerPractise songwriter and vocalist Geneva Alexander-Masters explained to me, “Death is a constant fact of life, the ultimate truth. I am comforted by the fact that it is both unbeatable and undeniable. Even though it's scary and sad.” MT
Andy Shauf - Things I Do
This Canadian singer-songwriter has his sixth album The Neon Skyline coming out in 2020, and hopefully it’ll be filled with wry, finely observed tunes like this one. Bursting with charm and garnished with chamber-pop trappings, Shauf details the various ways he’s behaved badly in front of his girlfriend. It’s a pretty tired sentiment, but damn he makes it feel relatable, helped along by how infectiously catchy the whole thing is. -TS
TORRES – Good Scare
“You make me want to write the country song folks here in New York get a kick out of / I’d sing about knockin’ you up under Tennessee stars in the bed of my red Chevrolet pickup.”
The first single from her forthcoming 2020 album Silver Tongue sees Mackenzie Scott’s familiar gender-bending lust, with a little more commitment to the scary act of falling in love. KJ
SAULT - Masterpiece
This is a band still shrouded in mystery, though a glance at their Spotify credits reveals that two of the members - Dean Josiah Cover and Cleopatra Nikolic - are British, and contributed to rapper Lil Simz album Grey Area (Cover has also written for Michael Kiwanuka and Jungle).
‘Masterpiece’ is a bold thing to name a song, but SAULT do their best to earn it - this is a track dripping with sincerity, coasting along a funk-tinged bassline before arriving at the refrain “all I think about is you”.
It’s a sentiment that could read as obsessive, but in context feels achingly melancholic. Susceptible listeners may find themselves turned into a puddle. -TS
Jeff Goldblum – Driftin’
Jeff Goldblum brings his ultra-lounge schtick to the bandstand for his second album with his Mildred Snitzer Orchestra. Jeff’s an ok pianist, but stays in the background for most of the album, letting his LA session players shine. Ideal music to play at a summer cocktail evening, if BBQ reggae isn’t your thing.
The video for Driftin' isn't out yet, but enjoy another of the tracks from the album, featuring plenty of cheesy Goldblum shots, and a super ultra lounge vibe. NT