Musical Discoveries: October

Good afternoon Findettes! Shake off your galoshes and come dry off by the fire whilst Aunty Penny winds up the gramophone for us on this chill October day. Fancy a sherry? I’ll get the nice glasses out.

I almost wasn’t going to review the xx’s new record Coexist because it’s basically very much like their debut, but do you know what? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I love listening to the xx in the winter, it’s the perfect soundtrack to grey city days, a gorgeously delicate counterpoint to all the hustle, bustle, mucky buildings and being stabbed in the eye with someone else’s brolly. This is a sumptuous set of songs, just like the first, stripped back to the bones, no messing about. I always tell my mum off when she comes back from the shop with yet another navy blue top because she’s always got a wardrobe full of them. Well, sometimes you’ve just got to go with what you know.

I tell you what though, this is a surprise! Who remembers Beth Orton? She’s from back in the day when folktronica was an actual word that people used to use to describe music people in their twenties played at dinner parties. But Beth was always a cut above all that nonsense, she’s got a lovely, truly distinctive and honest voice with no bells, whistles or warbles. She’s clearly passionate about her craft, knows her musical onions, is talented and marvellous and, well, I’ve had a girl-crush on her since I was a teen and had Trailer Park on constant rotation. New album Sugaring Season moves away from any bleeps and squiggles and cosies up to the truly epic, sweeping folk music that she always did so well. A wing-spreading, if you will. Gorgeous.

Florence’s Earworm
I have a real weakness for massive, glittery pop songs that bound into your ears wiggling their spangly hot-panted bottoms and juggling giant disco balls. This is the new song from Canadian pop twins Tegan and Sara, and if this is the direction the new records is going in, I’m very excited. Are we all ready to dance around our bedrooms punching the air and singing into our hairbrushes? Get set – go!

Penny x

PS. Readers, I couldn’t help but add a postscript to Penny’s round up this week and I feel justified as this particular piece of musical hot property wasn’t even released when Penny wrote this post. Since, it has become Number 1 in the download charts and high up on the list of conversation topics amongst fans of the associated franchise or the superstar songstress involved – The new Bond single from the forthcoming film of the same name, Adele‘s Skyfall.

As far as I’m concerned it’s a musical match made in heaven, Adele’s silky tones were made for Bond and it’s a win win with the marketing department as 2 huge franchises combine. I’ve heard people say it’s same-y, but surely that’s the point of Bond. It has a theme after all. I’d love to hear what you think of it? (Watch the Skyfall Trailer here.)

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5 thoughts on “Musical Discoveries: October

  1. I love Beth Orton’s new stuff. LOVE it.

    Also thanks for sharing the new Tegan and Sara – I was kind of ignoring everyone who said I should check it out but find it hard to ignore you Penny so… I am so glad I listened. I might become a Tegan and Sara convert.

    As for the Bond song? I do love Bond music, our first dance was to a cover of Nobody Does It Better but I’ve found some of the recent ones a bit dull and not sought out a listen – this is the same as before for me. I was not interested in hearing it and on first listen am still not that interested but can see what you mean Rebecca about it sounding “Bond” – its juts missing some drama for me.

    • So glad I’ve found a fellow Beth fan! I must confess to having paid no attention to Tegan and Sara previously, in spite of friends’ enthusiasm. This is just the right side of glossy though, I love it.

      Controversially I’m a big fan of Sheryl Crow’s Bond theme, but aside from that agree the modern stuff can be eye-pokingly bland. Adele is the obvious choice, good for her, it doesn’t tickle my pickle though.


      • I have always loved Tegan and Sarah AND Beth Orton. And I always feel I gush like a total fangirl whenever Penny writes a column. As for skyfall – I think you’re right – match made in heaven for what Bond is and what a theme tune should be. As for Bond drinking Heineken, well, that’s a different matter altogether…

  2. Also, seeing the xx live was actually one of the most romantic gigs I’ve ever been to. Which wasn’t what I was expecting but was a nice surprise!!

    • We bailed on them at Primavera due to being tired/wanting to go our drinking in our favourite bar in Porto, then my friends said they were their favourite thing at the festival. Slight regret, although I doubt very much they were as fun as the Flaming Lips.


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