Musical Discoveries – August

Good afternoon Findettes! I hope you’re making the most of this very erratic summer. Festival-goers have their work cut out – even if you’re lucky enough to get a fairly dry weekend the ground is still damp enough to get rapidly swamp-like under thousands of dancing wellies. If you’ve got an event coming up, be smart and pack sensible waterproofs and footwear. I came a cropper at Beat-herder this year, where my three-quarter length budget wezzas (from a certain cheap and omnipresent high-street shop) leaked on me and the mud was deep enough to come in over the top, forcing me to fashion a pair of socks using only a bin liner, some gaffer tape and my wits. Let’s just say I’m pretty sure Rebecca won’t be featuring them in her next style round-up.

Here‘s something that will make you feel the sun on your skin even when it’s binning it down outside. ‘Rebirth‘, is the new album from reggae supremo Jimmy Cliff, and it’s a triumph. We know him best for ’You Can Get It If You Really Want’ and his legendary version of ’I Can See Clearly Now’, and it’s been a while since he’s done a pure reggae album. It’s a good mix of originals and excellent covers. Having been a baggy-trousered punk in my youth this is one of my favourites:

It’s an uplifting set of brilliantly conceived songs and worth a listen even if (like me) you’re convinced you’re not into reggae.

From roots to rave – Passion Pit’s new one ‘Gossamer’ is a shimmering slab of irresistibly danceable electronic indie. Their last album was a bit twee for me (there seemed to be lots of children singing on it, which always makes me think of that horrible song ‘There’s No-one Quite Like Grandma’), but there’s no messing with this one. It’s colossal, from the euphoric stomp-along opener Take A Walk through the glitchy staccato synths of ‘I’ll Be Alright’ and ‘Mirrored Sea’ all the way to the new romantic swoon of album closer of ‘Where We Belong’. Monumental cosmic twirling. File next to M83 and Yeasayer.

Now here’s a chap who’s been in the news a lot recently – Frank Ocean. Cynics may say a bit of hue and cry never hurt album sales, but you have to applaud his A. coming out in a predominantly homophobic music culture (hip-hop/R‘nB), and B. making a really, really good album with which to follow up this revelation. His music is slinky like Prince at his most melty-smooth, and ’Channel Orange’ is pegged to an R‘nB classic, having already been covered and remixed to death by pretty much everyone. Love it.

Finally, let’s close with something utterly beautiful – the new one from the xx. Fans can get excited, and if you missed their phenomenal 2009 debut album, there’s still time to play catch-up. Second album ‘Coexist’ is released on September 11th, and if the lead single ‘Angels’ is anything to go by, it’s going to be pretty special. This is intense, bewitching music, stunning in its simplicity. Don’t miss it.


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6 thoughts on “Musical Discoveries – August

    • I confess to not staying awake long enough to watch them at Primavera this year, and I regret it! I really enjoyed the first record, but on the strength of Angels I’m wondering if the second might be even better??


  1. Grrrr flipbook just ate my comment!

    Okay here’s what I think I’d said…Love the mix of suggestions this month Penny! I don’t thnk I’d heard of any of these artists before reading this and I’ve already googled Passion Pit to see of they are touring soon (they are & in Glasgow too!) and then I listened to the xx wow!! What a beautiful song – off to buy it now xx

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