Hullo. Welcome back to the weekly dissection of the not very popular weekly Spotify playlist, Nobody’s Listening.
Let’s dive straight in..
Track 1. Hey Sailor Boy by Cosines.
Kicking us off this week we have Cosines’ Northern Soul tinged pop gem from two years back. 60’s pastiche? Nah, this is an affectionate tribute, with a gorgeous string underbelly that kicks in at about the one minute ten mark. Slightly sarky vocals, and a neat, flirty lyric combine to great effect.
Track 2. Feelin’ by The La’s.
Like last weeks Cardigans track, this is The La’s better, lesser known single if you ask me, and you are. Lee Maver’s twangy guitar recalling a sixties classic that was never written. I saw The La’s at Middlesbrough Town Hall on March 11th 1991. Probably the only exact gig date i can remember off the top of my head. I don’t know why, i just do.
Track 3. Baby Britain by Elliott Smith.
Such a waste. I was in a deep funk for days when Elliott passed on in 2003. He had such Joy in melancholy as this McCartney touched track from XO proves. I can’t help feeling he had so much more to give despite the amount he had already given, if that makes sense.
Track 4. Mixing Up The Cordite by Pea Sea.
Marc Riley favourites from Gretna, Pea Sea are up next with an angularish two and a half minutes which still manages to make use of some great stops in it’s limited time.
Track 5. Drummer Man by Nancy Sinatra.
Nancy at her seductive best, yes, but it’s the legendary wrecking crew sticks man Hal Blaine that owns this track. And why not, given the title.
Track 6. City Pulse by Peter Walker.
Raga-folk instrumental which wouldn’t be out of place as a soundtrack to a cine-filmed documentary about greyhound bus runs through early 70’s US desert landscapes. In my head anyway.
Track 7. Hair by Ganglians.
I’ve loved this track for years now and i’ve still no idea what they’re singing. For me, it’s the feel of it all. That primitive drum beat, the vintage feel of the guitar line that sounds like a violin played through a tin collander. The feels man. The feels.
Track 8. September by David Sylvian.
I’ll spare you the details, but i was going through a difficult time when a friend loaned me Sylvian’s ‘Secrets Of The Beehive’ LP over 20 years ago now. It was a tonic. The string arrangements of Ryuichi Sakamoto helped lift a weary heart, Sylvian’s vocal was perfect to wallow in. This track is far too short at just under a minute and twenty seconds mind, but the album as a whole is tailor made for 2 am, a bottle of something strong, and your thoughts.
Track 9. Jubilee by Jean Ritchie.
Dulcimer gorgeousness from ‘The Mother Of Folk’. I was introduced to this by my brother in law. A genre you can lose yourself in for years, the American folk song is rich and expansive, but i will advise trepidation. You have to sift through a lot of silt to find that nugget but this is one of them, a purer voice you’d be hard pressed to find.
Track 10. Nothing Happens In June by Ulrich Schnauss.
German musician Schnauss joined Tangerine Dream last year. This, from 2001’s ‘Faraway Trains Passing By’ has an obvious debt to that other German electronic colossus Kraftwerk, but it also wouldn’t be out of place on a re-imagining of Blade Runner. ( Jesus, i hope that never happens..)
Track 11. Into the Sea by Daughn Gibson.
Gibson is now three solo albums in, and while his work is critically acclaimed, he remains largely ignored. Possessing a voice and style quite close to the largely lauded John Grant, in my humble he’s the better of the two. This track in particular has loads to love, the piano opening, the dreamy backing vocal and then the guitar runs throughout the final two minutes are moments to treasure..
Track 12. Goodbye by The Sundays.
Oh, Harriett, sweet Harriet.
Track 13. Move With The Dawn by Mark Eric.
Former male model Mark Eric only released the one album, but what an album. This cut, taken from 1968’s ‘A Midsummer’s Day Dream’ is indicative of a Californian summer we’ve all seen on TV and in films. Sumptuous horns and laid back guitar evoke soft sunlight streaming through on an August afternoon. Gorgeous, soft pop with an age of Aquarius vibe.
Track 14. More Bread To The People by The Action 13.
Taken from the excellent Sound Way records compilation. This track has as much relevance now as it did in the 70’s. Free, psychedelic afro-rock at it’s best.
Track 15. Never Did I stop Loving You by Alice Clark.
I first stumbled across Alice Clark’s self titled LP about five years ago and it left me gobsmacked. Why had it taken so long for this joyous noise to reach my lugoils? Cracking playing, superb arrangements, but my word, THAT VOICE! The latter day vocal acrobats could learn a thing or twenty here, you can have power with understatement, you can reign it in and make more impact, let it out when it needs to be let out. She is my hero and i still throw my head back in ecstasy every time i play it.
Track 16. Don’t Leave Me Alone With Her by Daryl Hall.
Sans Oates, this is taken from the Philly Soul man’s solo album ‘Sacred Songs’, a straightforward rocker that echoes the punkier sounds around at the time of release, it soon morphs into a boogie woogie workout with some lovely riffing between keys and guitar.
Track 17. When I Saw You by The Ronettes.
It’s easy to see who Joey Ramone based his singing style on here. Ronni at her most wonderful, not as emotionally charged as ‘Walking In The Rain’ or ‘Be My Baby’, she seems almost defeated. The resigned cry of the line ‘I Lose My Mind Over You’ is heartbreaking. Nice one Phil, You big genius Psycho Shithead.
Track 18. Morning by Beck.
My work involves a lot of driving, at all times of the day, and consequently I get to see quite a few sunrises while behind the wheel. This particular track came on when driving home after a week away, and, as that big yellow star revealed its smile over a rapeseed field in early summer, i swear i had something in my eye..
Track 19. Here It Comes Again by The Fortunes.
This has been a default earworm of mine since Childhood. I can’t explain why, but it always pops in there at regular intervals and i can’t shake it. Probably because it’s frigging amazing. Y’know, Y’know, Y’know You broke my heart..
Track 20. This Is The End by The Isley Brothers.
And so we say adieu with another soul slowie. This week it’s an aptly titled Isley Brothers song with shades of doo wop to send you into the arms of morpheus, or into the aisles of Morrisons. Whichever, enjoy.
Ta for not reading/listening. I’m going to take a Holiday break now, but will be back in the New Year with more of the same for your ignoring pleasure. Until then, stay safe, and have a peaceful Yuletide and prosperous 2016. x