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Outsideleft Week in Music... Dogs... Dogs... Dogs... Deer...? We're hearing from... Weird Nightmare, Cymande, Guided By Voices, Brian Eno, NNAMDI, Deerhoof, Nickleback, Girlpuppy, Karaboudjan, Oliver Sim, The Head And The Heart, 070 Shake, Ben Tyler and Charles Stepney

Outsideleft Week in Music... Dogs... Dogs... Dogs... Deer...?

We're hearing from... Weird Nightmare, Cymande, Guided By Voices, Brian Eno, NNAMDI, Deerhoof, Nickleback, Girlpuppy, Karaboudjan, Oliver Sim, The Head And The Heart, 070 Shake, Ben Tyler and Charles Stepney

by Tim London,
first published: September, 2022

approximate reading time: minutes

"I'd forgotten how sad-sounding this album is," - Tim London writing about Cymande

Welcome to the Outsideleft Week in Music where we sift through the sounds that caught the attention of this weeks' reviewers: Tim Sparks, Tim London, Toon Traveller and Ancient Champion


BEN TYLER - Here Comes The Light (None)

by Tim Sparks

From Ben Tyler's Phoenix LP. As I played through the tracks I honestly didn't know which one to pick, they are all that good! I settled on Here Comes The Light a driving pop track, kicking off with a great synth riff and sound, Ben's vocal sits alone nicely on top carrying us through to a catchy chorus all within the first minute, this is how to write current pop songs folks. Verse 2 kicks it up a gear with more instruments adding to the movement and powering it along to a nice drop for air, then the chorus takes us to an outro. Ben has mastered the art of current pop, and this has all the right bits to make a great pop track, but then again, all the album tracks have something offer, check them out.

GIRLPUPPY - Destroyer (UMG)

by Tim London

Over a galloping horsey beat Mz Puppy does the pixie-advert voice singing the word ‘destroyer’ because it’s so not puppy, right? Yes, it’s clever, ironic, smart, from a lineage that dates back to Twinkle singing Terry in 1964. The video shows Girlpuppy flouncing around a rodeo, being led whilst hanging on to the saddle of a horse who’s rump she later strokes admiringly. Knowing, that’s the word. Is that what A&R said in their meeting? We should sign Girlpuppy because she’s knowing? It’s… aaaaright.

KARABOUDJAN - Upside Down (Unknown)

by Toon Traveller

Swirling synths swirl, melodic drums mellow out, and a sense of Tangerine Dream imbues with dreamy, sketchy vocals. There's are 80s uber cool synth pop stylings, think Japan, OMD. This is calm slow music for a slow food meal, on a slow paced evening, good wine and good company. It's like a date that goes nowhere, it's a bit like a concepts from Eno's cutting room floor. Music for lifts? Music for Hotels? Music for meandering to. I'd say get the originals and go with a real ambient master.

OLIVER SIM - Run The Credits (Uknown)

by Tim London

Had a bet with myself that this would be a bit floppy. Not far off. Oli’s voice is salesperson of the month doing Rufus Wainright in tune. ‘What’s a flower, if not a sinister motive?’ he asks us. Not sure I’d go that far for a bunch of daf’s but who knows the dark heart in the middle of the road?

NNAMDI - Dedication (Secretly Canadian)

by Tim London

My biggest criticism of NNAMDÏ is that, if I didn’t copy and paste, I wouldn’t know how to type their name accurately. There was a music genre called ‘wonky’ a while back and the beats remind me of that, and, it’s alright and I’m just hovering over the stop button when the song explodes into a choir of positivity and I’m won over, like a terminally ill person is by a TV evangelist. Well done, Nnamd(funny symbol).

NICKLEBACK - San Quentin (BMG)

by Tim London

San Kwen-tun! He did it all for rocknroll. What does that mean? He’s not specific about the laws he broke. Possibly the major misdemeanour is making hoary old Viagra rock which, if it isn’t illegal, should be.

BRIAN ENO - We Let It In (ft. Darla Eno) (UMG)

by Tim London

The sounds your dad makes. The farts and stomach growls and burps and snores. Eno is so proud of these he has included some of them in this collaboration with his daughter, Darla who might well be used to them. Very brave. Embedded in a bed of cushioned relaxation the sounds are quite hypnotic.

DEERHOOF - My Lovely Cat (Joyful Noise Recordings)

by Tim London

I need to be careful - I know people who might cause me harm if I say the wrong thing about Deerhoof. So let’s concentrate on the positives: cute! It’s cute. It’s about a lovely cat. There is slide guitar sliding all over some math rock stops and starts and ‘interesting’ time signatures. It’s tight. I don’t actually like it (don’t hit me!) but I can see its merits.

WEIRD NIGHTMARE - Wrecked (Sub Pop)

by Toon Traveller

Wow what is Alex Edkins? This it sounds like an Oasis britpop outtake with harmonies Oasis couldn't hear let alone compose. There's a great feel to this. Fabarooney (editors emphasis) 60s pop backing vocals, crashing 90s guitar chords and riffs make this is a truly wonderful mishmash... And exuberant? This is a mix of delights, sensations and explorations. And a video featuring dogs having fun. Dogs, dogs, dogs.

THE HEAD AND THE HEART - Don't Show Your Weakness (Warner Records)

by Tim Sparks

Any artist with 90k YT subs and 25M streams gets my attention one way or the other. Fom the off this track has a locomotive feel with a cool groove and nice vocal performance., I like this kind of sound and that anthem style chorus that wouldn't be out of place on Glastonbury main stage. It's rhythmic, lush, full and catchy with some nice added instrumentation, the production is clean, tight and spot on for this style of song, building it to a climatic close. The video is also worthy of a mention as its quirky visuals keep you stuck to the screen, all in all a stellar job. 


070 SHAKE - Double Sided (UMG)

by Ancient Champion

From 070 Shake's pair of Double Sided EPs ... Cocoon comes from Double Sided: Alt. I guess sometimes it feels like 070 Shake might be one of the few artistic commercial juggernauts worth feeling some enthusiasm for. Watching Cocoon, I am reminded of Pembrokeshire somehow. The outside world isn't going to get to you there. The positivity is infectious. This video has so much happening I can't take it all in at once. Like the Pembrokeshire coast. And the primitive, primitive bass, oh man. It's a saviour. It's always great to hear a great gap-toothed writer at work.


CHARLES STEPNEY - Step On Step (International Anthem)

by Ancient Champion

From Step on Step, Eponymous Double LP Collection of Stepney’s Home Recordings, Out This Friday 9/9 on International Anthem TK. "Everything he composed was gold." That's a quote from Ancient Champion bass player, Agata, it's a quote you can take to the bank, or the record store and try to claim a discount. You will deserve to get one. Brill!

CYMANDE - Cymande (Partisan)

by Tim London

Remastered at Abbey Road and reissued in December by Partisan Records. Tim London revisits Cymande's now near legendary debut LP. "I’d forgotten how sad-sounding this album is," he says. Read Tim's full review here.

Other Materials

GUIDED BY VOICES - Glad Girls (Matador (maybe))

by Ancient Champion

This is here because it is great and because the totally great Stewart Lee was in the Guardian/Observer last week and said this was the song that could get him up in the morning. 

Essential Info
Main Image screengrab from Weird Nightmare's Subpop record, Wrecked 

Tim London

Tim London is a musician, music producer and writer. Originally from a New Town in Essex he is at home amidst concrete and grand plans for the working class. Tim's latest thriller, Smith, is available now. Find out more at

about Tim London »»



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