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5 Hearts For October Here's a recap of our 5 Hearts record reviews from October

5 Hearts For October

Here's a recap of our 5 Hearts record reviews from October

by LamontPaul, Founder & Publisher
first published: November, 2022

approximate reading time: minutes

"end of year lists that fail to mention Gabriels elegant mix of soul, gospel, jazz, swooping strings and Jacob Lusk's tender, aching passionate voice will be treated like a typo-strewn CV and thrown away immediately." - Jay Lewis

Hey, here's a new thing, in case you missed these great and incandescent hits, here's a recap of all of the records our reviewers rewarded with five hearts throughout the month of October.

SINGLES

ALGIERS - Irreversable Damage (Beggars)
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by Tim London

What’s that? You want a rock track that sounds like the 21st century? When the sounds and tunes have crushed against the wall of possibility. Yes. Moroder synth. Roland 808 drum machine. Rap-singing like it’s 1979. Chorus is the Tempt’s in their angry period. Guest appearance by angry old 90s rock star. Guitar mutates from Sigue Sigue Sputnik to acid tripping San Francisco. A lucky bag of fizzy, desperate, hysterical righteousness.


ARAB STRAP - We See You (Eat Your Own Ears)
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by DJ Fuzzyfelt

Stunningly beautiful. A lazy review....nah....it is stunningly beautiful


DRUGDEALER - Pictures Of You (Mexican Summer)
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by Toon Traveller

Be kind to your Drugdealer and you will be rewarded... Here with the relaxed start, this has that early '80s post Steely Dan feel, sophisticated, urbane, a bit yacht rocky, and oohh so knowing.  A great guitar lick and solo, underpinned by a wonderful electric piano sense.  Provides that New York / LA pop / Jazz sensibility. This is perfect late night, sit back and de-stress, shut the door, close the curtains, pop the wine cork, yeah it's wine time, that buzz.  Let this ease over you, a scented bath without getting wet. This eases along with a soft focus I prefer to despise but this just hits the spot. So hard. Leaves you with a sense of sunshine and hope. Wherever your energy costs land, this softens the pain. 


EARL NATTY - Reggae Organ (Dime Records)
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by Ancient Champion

It's a Bandcamp Friday and you'll know that means, Bandcamp steps aside and gives more of the recording royalties to the bands. So Bandcamp Friday is your destination, if you are speedy, if you are rapido, to get a copy of the limited run 5" single Reggae Organ by Earl Natty...»» We loved the Earl's versions of Fools Gold and The Liquidator last year and Reggae Organ follows a similar every VU meter into the red trajectory. Explodes with Jackie Mittoo on a broken styled organ goodness. Fired by French Eggs. It's everything I love about music. So fun, so brilliant and so entertaining on so many levels. Be lucky and buy it.


GOAT - Do the Dance (Rocket Recordings)
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by Toon Traveller

This is electric, starts with drumming that's straight outta 80s Bow Wow Wow, throw a guitar chord from frazzled 70's rockers Ram Jam hit "Black Betty - (bamb-a-lam) ", they deserved more hits, non? Anyway, then you have this. It really shouldn't work, but it does, magnificently, even the vocals have that post punk, life's for fun, get off your arse and dance. This is the child of the music that took England's post punk sounds into new waves and raves. Love the driving heavy drums and the two chord guitar clash, thrash, slash, that grabs the ears and yells "get up offa that thing and dance dance dance."


JOHN SMITH AND KATHERINE PRIDDY - Talk To Me Of Mendocino (Commoner Records)
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by Jay Lewis

I may be wrong but I doubt that Katherine Priddy has been to many of the places named in this stately interpretation of this Kate & Anne McGarrigle lament. It doesn't matter, it's what great folk singers do, existing within every word that they say and somehow making the song theirs. 

Meanwhile, John Smith has been making quietly devastating albums for nearly a decade now. His acoustic guitar playing had graced records by the reflective Milk Carton Kids to Tom Jones. Here, his guitar compliments Priddy's voice with such sensitivity and their close harmonies remind me of Gram and Emmylou at their most heart-wrenching. Poignant and beautiful, is there any chance of a Priddy and Smith album?  


JOSHUA BURNSIDE - Rough Edges (Attic Thing)
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by Ancient Champion

Rough Edges is the current single from Irish singer, Joshua Burnside. I have a feeling you'll be hearing a lot more about him if you don't know him already. He's like a one-man The National. With an even more pronounced and very welcome murmuring downside. "I actually began writing this song many years ago, but some songs just need a little more time than others," Joshua says. "It never felt complete. I sat down to play it a few months ago, changed one line and then there it was." Joshua's EP Late Afternoon In The Meadow (1887) will be available in November and that should really be saying murmuring something. Really Cool!


MARINA HASSELBERG - Deep Blue (Redshift Records)
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by Toon Traveller

From Marina Hasselberg's full length LP, Red, due next week, comes the life affirming Deep Blue. As I aged, my instrument of desire morphed, from electric guitar, to piano and later, ended up here at the cello. And here we are, Marina Hasselberg has it all in the fingers and the bow. Approaching what I had considered to be understated only to have my mind blown. Deep Blue literally stretches, tears, rips and aches as notes escape Marina's mind, through her fingers, and out into the world.  This is music rooted in the spaces BETWEEN the dark places in your mind, hair-raising, spine-tingling, a dark pool of sound, beckoning... Leap in if you dare. Deep Blue cuts through skin with its raw visceral attack, on the instrument, on the listener and on the safe havens of what we know. This is the best thing I have heard this year. I love it. Can't wait for the LP.


MICAH P HINSON - People (Ponderosa Music)
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by Jay Lewis

When I first saw Memphis born Micah P Hinson play, he sounded as weary as someone who had lived multiple lives, all of them horrible. He was 23.

A lot of the bad luck that Hinson had already experienced poured into his words and music and, now at the wise old age of 41, they still do. 

'People' contrasts the breezy Americana of his band (the aptly 'The Musicians of the Apocalypse'), with his tale of how his life experiences have shown what an awfully disappointing breed the human race is. Heartbreaking. 


MISHKA SHUBALY - Paper Plates (Independent)
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by Ogglypoogly

There isn’t a soul on earth who hasn’t lived through heartbreak, we’ve all spent weeks suspended outside of time haunted by the spectre of a love lost. Wandered helpless through where home used to be, the weight of what once was anchoring you in your misery whilst you self medicate your way through the quagmire of your own unravelling emotions. Not everyone can turn that into a song that resonates with an honesty most people try not to reveal to themselves. But most people aren’t Mishka Shubaly. 

Paper Plates captures the state you’ve been in and articulates it for you. To say Mishka Shubaly has a way with words is an understatement, skilled in lyrical poignancy he once again delivers a song that inhabits a space that’s more poetic than it has any right to be and lands perfectly in a space that's neither mundane nor laden with pretension. The same follows for the musical composition and production, which is layered such that it provides the landscape for the scene playing out in your mind's eye. 

Paper Plates releases on Mishka Subaly's bandcamp page and I strongly recommend you check it out.


MURKAGE DAVE - Choose Your Own Adventure (Bandcamp)
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by Tim London

In the future, when sociologists want to know what life is really like for young-ish Londoners they can study Dave’s lyrics. Over a circular backing, the round and round of life goes on. It’s beautiful and sad.


PREHISTORIC MAN - Flavoured Finish (Bandcamp)
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by Lee Paul

Prehistoric Man are big favorites in my house, so it was very exciting to wake up last Saturday to a message saying they are back. Flavoured Finish attempts, they say, to embody the harmonic sensibilities of the classic girl groups of the 60's, such as The Chiffons, with the production values of late 80's era Northern house music. They know what they're doing. Flavoured Finish is not a facsimile mashed to a pulp, it is a mesmerising trippy journey, evoking hipster spy movie themes, before giving way to crystalline multi-layered percussion. A surprise of a dreamscape then, that simply sounds awesome. Let it take you.


R.A.P. FERREIRA - ours (Ruby Yacht)
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by Ancient Champion

There's something irresistible about swooping looping minimalism. The laconic resigned sound of someone still kicking against the pricks. "Do what you can kid, do what you can." Love this.


SHEKU KANNEH-MASON - Say A Little Prayer (Decca)
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by Ancient Champion

Well, three cello stars in one week, Sheku Kenneh-Mason + Tomeka Reid + Marina Hasselberg and it seems unexceptional, like a semblance of balance restored to the OL universe. I saw Sheku Kenneh-Mason perform Haydn to a sold out crowd at the Symphony Hall recently and it was, as I know I saw way too often, mesmerising. I was kind of on a plane where I saw right across his fingers as they literally danced over the cello. You know - like he'd had the salt cellar out to make the loafers move. Remember doing that? Say A Little Prayer is the most perfect piece is pop, of course, I know, and now it is this. Note: Sheku Kenneh-Mason is returning to Birmingham, as part of the Noise Night scheme to take classical music into new environs, grab a ticket while you can...»»  


SURPRISE CHEF - Grinners Circle (Big Crown Records)
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by Ancient Champion

Surprise Chef have served up some of the genuine dee-lites of this year. Generally groovy instrumentals. They have me grinning from ear to ear. I just can't stop loving them. 


SWEET BABOO - Good Luck (Amazing Tapes From Canton)
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by DJ Fuzzyfelt

Sweet Baboo has released possibly the loveliest football anthem you'll ever hear. Written by H.Hawkline and recorded in one afternoon by a band featuring, amongst others,the aforementioned H.Hawkline on bass, Boy Azooga on drums and xylophone, and Sweet Baboo himself on vocal duties and guitar, this gentle rallying call to the Welsh team at the forthcoming world cup is worth 3 minutes and 20 seconds of anybody's time irrespective of whether you care a jot about football or not. Available on all the usual streaming sites.


TWO FINGERS VS MUADEEP - Lost Gods (Nomark)
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by Toon Traveller

This is realness compared to the usual pap that Outsideleft's reviews ed sends me. A futuristic sense of improvisation, the machines click and whirr with menace. The eastern percussion is a delight. Wonderful samples, back up reverse thar tape, it all combines to give a flavour of Arab souks, Indonesian markets, and inner city UK, US East Coast streets and cafes. It's Urban music from the ghettos, favelas, and Barrios of the world, from the Anaheim suburbs and Strabane's side streets. Wherever people are looking for new forms of expression. An aural soundtrack for our time, close your eyes, and walk in the footsteps of  2020's youth, downpressed, but bursting with hope, wilfully unnoticed by the old folks with all the power. Until it's too late.


UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA - I Killed Captain Cook (Jagjaguwar)
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by Tim London

Some of us might have fantasised about killing a Trump or a Farage and saving the world a whole lot of pain. The problem, of course, being that there are other Trumps and Farages that would sprout in their place and the people who back them will remain miles away from our fizz bombs. Which was the case with Captain Cook, who, despite being killed by the Unknown Mortal Orchestra, was just one of many westerners who went to the Pacific with guns and VD to upset the natural runnings. Interesting idea for a song, though, sort of creaking through some jazzy chords as if the singer is actually old enough to have done the dirty deed and not lying through his teeth. Love it.


EPS

GEORGE BOOMSMA - What's Left Behind (Independent)
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by Jay Lewis

On George Boomsma's What's Left Behind EP Jay Lewis hears a voice that is a pure and effortlessly soaring instrument... Read Jay's full review, here »» 


LPs

COURTNEY MARIE ANDREWS - Loose Future (Fat Possum Records)
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by Jay Lewis

Courtney Marie Andrews' last album (the GRAMMY nominated 'Old Flowers' 2020), was one of the most heartbreaking records that I'd heard in a long ('I may never let love in again' she declared on 'Carnival Dream'). It was a quiet, country-folk album with that wounded, soul-searching vocals at the centre.

Loose Future opens with the admission that she has  'learned from her mistakes', and it's an indication of what is to follow. Her personal, insightful lyrics tell tales of moving cautiously forward, learning to live again, and although there may still be huge patches of self-doubt ('Change My Mind' ), and frustration ('On the Line') there's also newfound live-one-day-at-a-time wisdom of 'These Are The Good Old Days' Best of all is the yearning of 'Thinkin' on You,' that feeling of aching for someone to return, probably just moments after they've left.

This is an album built out of painful experiences and the need for personal change, of seeing light at the end of the tunnel and the move towards it. 


DRY CLEANING - Stumpwork (4AD)
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by Jay Lewis

'It's a weird premise for a show, but I like it' (Liberty Log)

It is. Three years after the 'Magic of Meghan' introduced us to the talk-singing of Florence Shaw and the post-punk indebted trio of musicians, Dry Cleaning are still a peculiar proposition. Shaw's collage of overheard or online dialogues spliced with her own commentary has created something that feels like an internal monologue, a mix of the beguiling, banal, shocking (she is such a wonderful swearer), and hilarious. Cut-up poetry about the minutiae of modern life.

Their second album reveals Dry Cleaning shows the band stretching out, experimenting, and (as on the opener 'Anna Calls From The Arctic'), grooving.  There's also the distorted and disorientating MBV feel of  'No Decent Shoes For Heavy Rain' and (please inform me if I'm wrong here),  the first-ever song to be written about a missing pet tortoise. 

Even with its rather yuk-inducing sleeve, 'Stumpwork' is a remarkable album.  


GABRIELS - Angels and Queens - Part 1 (Atlas Artists)
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by Katherine Pargeter

We're entering that godawful 'best of year' list-making season, where there's the usual one-upmanship about what might be the best or not best record of 2022.  And why is it always one-upmanship?  Why is that? 

Well, any of those lists that fail to mention Gabriels elegant mix of soul, gospel, jazz, swooping strings and Jacob Lusk's tender, aching passionate voice... any list not mentioning this record, will be treated like a typo-strewn CV and thrown away immediately.  

Angels and Queens - Part One is the album of the year - no competition. 


GUIDED BY VOICES - Scalping the Guru (Guided by Voices, Inc.)
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by Spanish Pantalones

If Robert Pollard isn't releasing material every three months, I get concerned and although Scalping the Guru isn't technically new, it's made up of some very rare (and raw) material from GBV's pivotal Bee Thousand period, and that's enough to keep me satiated for a few more months. With Scalping the Guru, Pollard handpicks gems from some of his band's most sought-after EPs they recorded and released in a flurry during the early '90s -- Static Airplane JiveGet Out of My StationsFast Japanese Spin Cycle and Clown Prince of the Menthol Trailer. Nothing on this compilation sounds polished or radio-friendly, but that's the charm -- these are songs that were written and recorded on the fly with relatively primitive instruments and recording equipment. Will there ever be another lo-fi movement in pop music? It's doubtful, but as long as Pollard can still squeeze three chords out his guitar and press the play button on his 4-track, there's always a chance for a revival.


PJ HARVEY - B-sides, Demos & Rarities (Island/Universal)
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by Ogglypoogly

PJ Harvey is for me in the category of ‘always a pleasure, never a chore’  so when I woke  up to a message alerting my bleary eyes to a new release, the day was off to a good start.  In advance of the upcoming boxed set  this six track selection is something really quite special. The demos are everything you expect them to be, stripped down and raw but no less spellbinding than their polished counterparts ‘Dry’ is perhaps better in this form without the distortion. However it’s the b-sides that have made this release something to get excited about. ‘Who Will Love Me Now’ is every bit as time stopping today as it was in 1996. A slow, melancholy song filled with self doubt and a longing for acceptance really brings to the fore just how significant a vocal performance can be, and if you can find a misty cemetery to listen to this in, its impact is all the deeper. Following a similar path ‘Nina in Ecstasy 2’ again is a joy to hear after more years than I care to count, the simplicity of the song is its strength.  ‘Somebody's Down, Somebody's Name’ a raucous bluesy number, where the Captain Beefheart influence really shines through. It’s a song where her vocal performance tells the story without needing to read the lyrics. The panic,urgency and powerlessness of witnessing a death is all conveyed in the delivery.  It’s a reminder of why I fell in love with her music and despaired at my schoolmates for not sharing in that love. Yes - you’ve heard these songs before, but that’s no good reason not to listen to them again, and again.


Other Materials

BHAI CHAMANJIT SINGH LAL - Waheguru Waheguru (Youtube)
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by Ancient Champion

The place I go to get samosas is a bit of a celebrity samosa place, so local media says. Bridgerton stars are literally lining up around the block. Obviously not at all times, that would not be plausible. This is the soundtrack that takes the edge off waiting while hungry, clears the heart and soothes our nerves. Celebrity samosa buyers must practice patience. You'll be rewarded.


GEORGE BENSON - On Broadway (live) (Youtube)
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by Ancient Champion

As you AC fans will know. I am a born again guitar player as an old man. Bury me with it! But this made me realize that I have some little ways to go. What doesn't but, Wow!


LITTLE SIMZ - NPR Tiny Desk (NPR)
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by LamontPaul

This week, Little Simz won one of the biggest UK music industry prizes for her LP Sometimes I Might Be Introvert. It is worth pondering I suppose, whether that means anything more than the judges, and their agendas concluded that Simz made the best UK and Irish record of the year. Meanwhile here's a nice Tiny Desk show from years ago where she still plays guitar. As you will see, no kidding, Simz was brilliant then, so why did the award take so long in coming? (And of course, love the tasteful choice of guitar.)


TOMEKA REID QUARTET - Old New (Cuneiform Records)
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by LamontPaul

Tomeka Reid's Quartet released the incredible Old New LP in 2019, it was one of our top 10 LPs of that year, actually 8th best, a couple of places above Sault and Snoh Aalegra. Old New is possibly one of the best records you will ever hear. Anyway, we're revisiting Old New this week to celebrate Tomeka Reid's just announced 2022 MacArthur Genius Award for her work in jazz improvisation and so, so, so much more. For all the reasons MacArthur ordains genius. Read an expanded version of this news here »».


Essential Info
Main Image: Gabriels' Jacob Lusk - youtube screengrab

LamontPaul
Founder & Publisher

Publisher, Lamontpaul founded outsideleft with Alarcon in 2004 and is hanging on, saying, "I don't know how to stop this, exactly."

Lamontpaul portrait by John Kilduff painted during an episode of John's TV Show, Let's Paint TV


about LamontPaul »»

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