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Five Hearts for February All of Outsideleft's Week in Music Five Heart Music Reviews from February

Five Hearts for February

All of Outsideleft's Week in Music Five Heart Music Reviews from February

by LamontPaul, Founder & Publisher
first published: February, 2023

approximate reading time: minutes

Ah. The glorious Disco Scooters, recorded on a Fostex Portastudio in a Hastings living room...

So... The collected Five Beloved Hearts Records for February 2023 from our OUTSIDELEFT Week in Music page, the weekly review where regular contributors to OUTSIDELEFT give the new releases we hear about and some oldsters we feel about, the once over... Five Hearts in February looks like this...

SINGLES

ABBY JEANNE - Know Better (Eraserhood Sound )
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by Toon Traveller

I Love the feel of this right from the get go. This is a giant 60s inflected pop song. Bonus Jazzy sounds, and sense of 80's spiritual soul, a really great groove. This spirits you away to summer strolls, ice creams, and sunburnt park sitting... Has me yearning for the days... It's all together a delight, great guitar, wonderful echo effect, yeah this has it all for those home working, garden sitting, mint juleps sippings. A delight, this is a touch of gentleness, a brush of summer tenderness. 5 hearts all the way every day 


ANNA B.SAVAGE - Pavlov's Dog (City Slang)
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by Katherine Pargeter

When my work colleagues ask me later today what I am planning to do this weekend, I probably won’t tell them of the album at the top of my pile of records to listen to. As tasters for Savage’s sophomore album (out today), I have already succumbed to the mesmerising title track (in/Flux), been haunted by ‘The Ghost’, and realised just how a mere pop video can be art with the exceptional ‘Crown Shyness’ (oh and she’s also duetted with Hamish Hawk on his new album).  I’m frequently reminded of Keeley Forsyth’s intense tales. Before I go and prepare some lies to tell the rest of my colleagues, I will share the (mostly) positive 'Pavlov's Dog' (‘I’m here/I’m waiting/I’m salivating’), the honesty is overpowering. I’m off to spend my weekend in a state of flux.


AUGUSTUS PABLO - Visions of Zion ft Rockers All Stars (Youtube)
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by Lee Paul

Beautiful to begin with


BLACK BELT EAGLE SCOUT - Spaces (Saddle Creek)
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by Toon Traveller

Black Belt Eagle Scout put out their music on one of our favorite reliably great labels, Saddle Creek. There was time in the mid 90's, when "world music" was the vibe which hep cats like me lapped up like milk. That First Nation, Native American music was Sooo much the vogue. Later the calm rhythms, soft chants, and drum patterns filled the chill out rooms and meditation spaces of festivals and mindfulness sessions, world wide. It's great to see artists moving beyond what was narrowly defined for them to embrace, refresh, and reinterpret mainstream genres, moving it, and their own roots, forwards. So we end up here, in that space where marketed "Americana" brushes up with the "real Americana", yeah it has all that sense of open spaces, of lifestyle and culture fading. Evoking hints of sun rising over summer grasses, or cold silver lit first snows. There's echoes of those 90's CDs but in a positive sense. Delightful slide guitar that could be straight from 'Paris Texas'... This provides a taster for the more adventurous to sample and explore another musical world. A brush of transcendental calm.


BOB DYLAN - Standing in the Doorway - Version 1/Love Sick - Version 1 (Columbia)
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by Alex V. Cook

This is not really a single, per se, but two of the outtakes from Fragments - Time Out of Mind Sessions (1996-1997): The Bootleg Series, Vol. 17 (Deluxe Edition). I'll leave it to the historians to tell you the value of the sessions and a deconstructionalist to parse that box set title, but these two tunes have me in a spell. TBH, I did not care for Time Out of Mind at the release. It sounded too Prairie Home Companion to me, what with its crack team band lineup. I used to go to Dylan to ogle wreckage, be it a motorcycle, his career, or the sanctity of songs, not to hear expertly played music. In the quarter century since, I've come around to taking Dylan at his facade value and love him the more for it. Time Out of Mind, and particularly these two numbers on the original album are among his greatest recorded achievements, meaning they are up there with anybody's. The two embryonic versions are less meteors destroying his own dinosaur, but majestic takes that feel as real* the look in the mirror. I can see ol' Bob playing the house keyboard at Phil Brady's, the blues bar near my house, backed by a bunch of guys he just met who are figuring these tunes on the fly and weaving a broken heart out of thin air. The jam is every Thursday if he wants to stop by.

*I footnote real in that it is well discussed that there is no real Bob Dylan, like he invented inventing yourself. It's probably one of those points I made against Time Out of Mind back last century when I was an idiot and not the wise listener of Robert Dylan I am now, a man out of time and out of touch. What could be less relevant to the contemporary musical landscape than Bob Dylan outtakes? Probably exactly what he was going for then, and what I go to him for now.


DEATH VALLEY GIRLS - Magic Powers (Valve Records)
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by Spanish Pantalones

The third strong single from Death Valley Girls' forthcoming LP, Islands in the Sky and it incorporates the same dreamy, droney, spacey psych-rock vibe as the first two ("Sunday" and "What are the Odds"). "Magic Powers" sounds a little more polished than I'm used to hearing from Death Valley Girls, but the extra elbow grease works here. I'm predicting a great LP. 


DEPECHE MODE - Ghosts Again (Venusnote)
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by Jay Lewis

'Time is fleeting/see what it brings...' 

It may come as next to no surprise that Depeche Mode's first music since the death of founding member Andy Fletcher since his death last year, grapples with thoughts of mortality.  

What is a surprise though is just how light, how melodic, and how (unlike their difficult-to-warm-to last few albums), instantly absorbing 'Ghosts Again' is. It's has that familiar Depeche Mode hybrid of enchanting pop and melancholy, mixed in with one of Dave Gahan's most beautiful and bruised vocals (the 'everybody says goodbye' line brings tears. 

Finally, there's the stylish accompanying video by Anton Corbijn - well, someone's been rewatching The Seventh Seal haven't they? 


EYEDRESS - House of Cards (Kevin Shields Remix) (Lex Records)
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by Spanish Pantalones

Everything you read about Eyedress begins by revealing that Eyedress' real name is Idris Vicuña and he's a Manila-born, Los Angeles–based musician, but I'm not going to bore you with those rote details. The only thing that's important right now is "House of Cards" is the best thing you'll hear all week. Not because Kevin Shields remixed it because frankly, KS didn't really do much to it; it's just a fantastic groove. It has that druggy, nonchalant, lo-fi drone I look for in a good slow, lazy jam. But don't stop with this song, check out the entire Eyedress catalog -- he's a burgeoning gem.


JONNINE - Tea For Two (Boo) (Bandcamp)
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by Tim London

No, not that tea for two, probably more like the old beatnik word for maryjoo-anna, if the woozy pace and the bassline are anything to go with. I do like a two note bass line and these are the best two notes of the week. Over that and a very lazy percussionist a young woman with the hint of a cold reminds me a little of Alison Stratton if the boys in Young Marble Giants had spiked her camomile.


LANA DEL RAY - A&W (Polydor Records)
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by Tim London

Whenever I try to hit a response across the badminton nets to one of Lana Del Ray’s whispy, self-conscious torn denim urban country odes to a mythical America, I tend to miss. In fact, I’m still staring at her as the shuttlecock whooshes past, wondering what all the fuss is about. I want to like it. There’s obviously a bit more to her than Shania or Taylor’s middle American shopping for trainers, but, still… anyway, this is the closest to me getting a response in as the ‘something something American whore’ chorus line fades into an extended, valium-downer outro. Actually, now we’ve arrived, I think this is brilliant. Game on.


LANKUM - Go Dig My Grave (Rough Trade)
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by Jay Lewis

Anyone who mistakenly clicked onto Lankum's rendition of The Wild Rover (2019) expecting a Dubliners' style singalong may have been horrified by what they discovered. Gone was the jaunty drinking song, replaced with ten minutes of droning harmoniums and accordions and singer Radie Peat reimagining the number more as a tale of bitter regret. It all builds to an anxious and dramatic climax. Even with this in mind I was still not prepared for their interpretation of 'Go Dig My Grave'. The acapella intro may suggest that we are about to hear a familiar lovers lament, but then it turns into something akin to Scott Walker's nightmarish album with Sun O))) butv played on traditional instruments. It is folk music as folk horror soundtrack and it is disturbingly brilliant. And then there's the accompanying video, which will give you nightmares about string. Proceed with caution. 


MEDIOCRE - To Know You're Screwed Is To Know A Lot (Dangerbird)
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by Ancient Champion

Mediocre are anything of course, but that. Blending bits of garage rock and post punk indie pop, they are tongue in cheek motherfucking genius types. They said it. "It's all self taught," and I'm buying in, in about as racious a 2:43 as I've heard in a while. To Know You're Screwed Is To Know A Lot is from their forthcoming EP To Know You're Screwed on the always excellent Dangerbird Records. “Sometimes the awareness of being screwed is comforting, but sometimes ignorance is bliss.” Mediocre Keely Martin on bass and Piper Torrison on guitar with the help of Jake Pavlica of the band Street Play on drums, Joe Reinhart of Hop Along and Algernon Cadwallader, contributing too. A great one.


SHONEN KNIFE - MUJINTO Rock (Valve Records)
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by Alarcon

A four-minute blast of Johnny Ramone-style buzzsaw guitars offset by the high harmonies of Naoko, Atsuko, and Risa. If you replace their vocals with Paul Weller's howl, this could be a deep cut on In the City.


SLEAFORD MODS FT. FLORENCE SHAW - Force 10 From Navarone (Rough Trade Records)
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by Tim London

Always remember, even when the band or singer are apparently ‘real’ or ‘authentic’ they are always acting. If they make a video. This would have been so much better without the video where they mime along just like all the other mimers. Fucking sell outs. Fucking let me down. Fucking liars. Even Mark E Smith made miming videos. Fucking sell out. Even The Sex Pistols did one, even the fucking Clash. All sell outs. At least Charlie XCX doesn’t pretend - she’s knows she’s product.


THE GO! TEAM - The Me Frequency feat The Star Feminine Band (Memphis Industries)
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by Tim London

The way the Go!s run their own path is admirable. They don’t stop. Another collab with The Star Feminine Band from Benin is a joyous, chanty foot to foot bop, the sort of thing you’d like to hear coming out of car windows when the sun shines. Exists in a sort of dream time of vintage childhoods, when we would eat refreshers with fruity chews and check out the colours with an open mouth in the mirror.


WHATITDO ARCHIVE GROUP - Hidden Cove (Record Kicks)
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by Ancient Champion

Nearly 2 years on from their Italo-western soundtrack The Black Stone Affair, Whatitdo Archive Group come with, well certainly a more stripped down single, Hidden Cove. Some say the LP in May, Palace Of A Thousand Sounds will be more dionysus style mod century lounge... More Martin Denny and Lee Baxter and Alarcon will be dusting off his cocktail glasses, looking in the back of the closet for the quality vodka for the dirty martini mixes. We'll see. For now this is what we are getting from one of the most groovy and exciting bands in the world. T O U R now! I know they read this page, so that Isanimplore.


EPs

SAM AKPRO - Trace (Fair Youth)
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by Toon Traveller

Starts positive. some great 'off the beat', beats, and the feel of another place, possibly not this world. This has that sense new, 'old' ideas remade, remodelled. It's a mix of psychedelic soul / rock  and a drizzle of that jazzy, letting it flow sensibility. It's a mixed, crafted match-up of 80's baggy Manchester Sound, meets 70's Norman Whitfield production. Sound and instruments swirl, it's one of the mini-autumnal leaf swirls we see, in musical form. I love the groove, it's back of the room, far away sound, wafting around your ears in an enchanting magical sound. Think Stone Roses, meets Soul II Soul, in a hazy,  phazey,  cool, drifting, musical love affair. It's sheer delight. I love this one. Can't wait for the entire Arrival EP in April.


LPs

BOB DYLAN - 'Fragments' - Time Out of Mind sessions 1996-1997 (Coumbia)
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by Jay Lewis

Jay listens to all six hours of the sessions from his favourite Dylan album - and probably wishes there were more. Link here.


BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE - Your Future Is Your Past (A Recordings)
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by Alarcon

Anton Newcombe makes it sound so easy. In the Brian Jonestown Massacre’s twentieth album, he took ideas and phrases from passing conversations he had with his pre-teen son and used them to write an album about being a father. Now I usually dismiss all lyrics about parenthood because there’s nothing more trite than when rock stars emote about the woes of child rearing, but Newcombe takes a somber look at the bleakness of raising a young kid in 2023. Naturally, Newcombe softens his lyrics with mesmerizing instrumentation and chord progressions. It’s another small gem from Anton Newcombe, and more evidence that BJM has won the long game with the Dandy Warhols if Dig! was anything to be believed. Over 18 years later and the Brian Jonestown Massacre are still releasing vital music while the Dandys have become downright unlistenable.


HANIA RANI - On Giacometti (Gondwana Records)
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by

Rani's extraordinary soundtrack to a film on the iconic sculptor Giacometti gets Jay full attention here⇒


LIL YACHTY - Let's Start Here. (Quality Control/UMG)
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by Alex V. Cook

Surely your have heard the hype and maybe bypassed it to pre-cancel the album in an Internet reverse half Nelson backlash (a certain farm-implement named music site already has, natch), but the new Lil Yachty album is really good. It actually is. The chatter about a rapper having discovered Pink Floyd and made a psychedelic rock masterpiece is a bit overblown, and perhaps, derogatory (like it is such a shocka that a rapper is aware of one of the biggest selling records of all time), though "the BLACK seminole." and "the ride-" would not be totally out of place in a Steve Miller rock block. What we actually have is a loosy-goosey expression of glorious pop musicality, groovier than the Flaming Lips, more of a bop than the Melody's Echo Chamber, both which the tone of the thing resembles. Maybe a little Coldplay on cold medicine.  As the album progresses, the more radio-friendly Mr. Boat's lysergic romps become, and that is really where the record most potently hits. His distant raps against Mellotron strings, Autotune set to 420 to where he sounds for the life of me like indie-rock possible crackup Damien Jurado. I had to look to see if he was a feat. artist. Is there a larger message to it? Is this a revolution? Is it one of those that I will love for three weeks and never think about again? Too soon to tell but rn IRL, I love it. 


MOMUS - Issyvoo (Darla Records)
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by John Robinson

The 2023 album from Momus recorded last year is Issyvoo, you can read why John Robinson thinks it's a FiveLoveHeart record in his Psychogeographical Sounds review, right here


MUSEUMGOER - Museumgoer 21 (Bandcamp)
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by Ancient Champion

Museumgoer 21 is lengthier and breadthier than the equally beautifully ambient 20 Museumgoer releases to date. There's much to enjoy on here, from Bentley powered Rhythm Ace almost funk on These Weeds. "My neighbor," says Museumgoer, "was mowing his wreck of a yard (an oak tree came down in the last hurricane) and the buzz of the mower permeated the house. I caught a minute of it on my phone then later mixed wit with a cello sound to make a grindy, My Bloody Valentine-ish organ patch and built the thing from there - a fanfare for a job adequately done." Then there's A Vibe, here. But read Museumgoer's own track by track, here⇒


Other Materials

ANCIENT CHAMPION - Getting Read For Nothing (None)
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by Hamilton High

Ancient Champion, make a rare live appearance in Birmingham at what they call a poshies youth club on Sunday.


ARETHA FRANKIN - I Say A Little Prayer For You (Atlantic Recordings)
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by Jay Lewis

I could have picked any of about a dozen (maybe two dozen, maybe three), songs that Burt Bacharach wrote the music for. I could have picked something by any of my favourite singers (Scott, Dusty, Sandie, Elvis C), but I've selected this because it's as close to perfection as a mere pop song can be.

Hal David's lyrics find romance in the mundane and the everyday  ('I run for the bus dear/while riding I think of us dear'), whilst Aretha's heart tugging vocals,  have the passion of someone raised singing gospel. But it's Burt's music that binds this all together ( If you want to marvel at Burt's work without vocals or lyrics, then find the album 'Reach Out' and listen to his instrumental version of this tune).

There is very little in music that is better than this.  RIP Burt Bacharach.


DELVON LAMARR ORGAN TRIO - Move On Up (Coalmine)
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by Ancient Champion

Delvon LaMarr is coming! Delvon LaMarr is coming! To Birmingham and what's that, maybe nothing less than Night of The Year? What are we gonna do in this city while we hang around until May? Good time to check out their warm up set in Seattle...


GALLON DRUNK - Some Fool's Mess (Clawfist)
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by Ancient Champion

Probably can do this justice with words you're  just have to look and listen and think about what you're doing with your life.


RICKIE LEE JONES - Chuck E's in Love (Solo Acoustic) (Youtube/BBC)
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by Ancient Champion

Recorded for BBC TV in 1994. Rickie Lee Jones' classic pop single, with a little story intro... One of my all time greats.


SORRY - Willow Tree (Domino Records)
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by Ancient Champion

Yes. Good. Sorry. I don't know if they've ever heard music before. Totally great.


THE DISCO SCOOTERS - From Mud To The Moon (Playground)
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by Lee Paul

Ah. The glorious Disco Scooters, recorded on a Fostex Portastudio in a Hastings living room... The title track from their C86 style cassette only release on the Work Experience Scheme record label Playground Records.


Essential Info
Lake from the Disco Scooters, 1986


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


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