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Welcome Back Outsideleft Week in Music We're hearing from...  India Gailey, Bring Me The Horizon, Sea Girls, Dylan LeBlanc, Crepe Girl, BrhyM, Sprints, Future Islands, Disconnected Souls, Satanic Tea Co, Ty Segall, Bill Ryder Jones, Itzy, Karyn, The Waterboys, House of All, Elijah Minnelli, Julia Holter , Amaro Freitas, Feral Family, Into The Deep, Daffodill, Liam Gallagher and John Squire

Welcome Back Outsideleft Week in Music

We're hearing from... India Gailey, Bring Me The Horizon, Sea Girls, Dylan LeBlanc, Crepe Girl, BrhyM, Sprints, Future Islands, Disconnected Souls, Satanic Tea Co, Ty Segall, Bill Ryder Jones, Itzy, Karyn, The Waterboys, House of All, Elijah Minnelli, Julia Holter , Amaro Freitas, Feral Family, Into The Deep, Daffodill, Liam Gallagher and John Squire

by OL House Writer,
first published: January, 2024

approximate reading time: minutes

Look... Weird, difficult to read columns. Like if the old music papers had printed their record reviews on coloured newsprint.

It's been 2024 for a while now and at last we've summoned up the will to go again with the Week in Music. Now, in a new and possibly to be short lived crazy columnar design - if you're checking this on a computer screen that is. More or less the same old for folks on their phones. This look is surface deep hauntological, of course it is - recalling all of your vintage music paper capsuled record review pages from all those years ago. With dayglo ink spilled on them. We miss the music press for that. A weekly big bag of all sorts, you never knew what you would get. Welcome to the Outsideleft's mashing of musical hopes and dreams 2024. It start's here but goes on all year long. 

SINGLES

INDIA GAILEY - Grotesquerie (People Places Records)
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by Toon Traveller

From virtuoso cellist India Gailey's third LP, Problematica, out on February 23rd, 2024 on People Places Records, comes Grotesquerie. The Cello you ask, gets scraped, slapped, bowed, and plucked, this in a single instrument, fingers and a bow, electrics trip in later. It's always a challenge to hear real invention, and her is that challenge. There's melody, rhythm, there's evocation and sense of gathering fear. It's full of anger and rage, and bittersweet resentment.  As the playing crescendos, a discernible echoplex adds, and enhances confusion, and darkens the cello's world. It's that sense of masterful composition, ideas, and invention that pervades the whole, it's captivatingly, intriguing in ideas and delivery.

SPRINTS - Heavy (City Slang Records)
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by Alan Rider

"Do you ever feel like the room is heavy?" ask Sprints.  Sometimes, yes I do.  Not that often, mind you. However, this is not heavy going, but a great blast of energy to start off the New Year and shake off that post Christmas torpor when you just can't generate any enthusiasm for anything.  My New Years resolution is to be a bit more positive and generous about the state of the music biz, however shit it may be.  Sprints are a good place to start as they are actually loads of fun as we saw back in November with their previous single 'Shadow Of A Doubt', and represent the positive face of fresh new music rather than all that derivative bilge and crusty old reformed dinosaurs rubbish.  Oh dear.  Looks like I've broken that resolution already! 'Letter to self' is their debut album if you fancy checking that out.  I would tell you all about it, but they forgot to send us a copy.

LIAM GALLAGHER AND JOHN SQUIRE - Just Another Rainbow (Warner Music)
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by Jay Lewis

If there is one phrase that irks me like no other, it's "back in the day". The malodorous nostalgia, the complacency, the notion everything was so much better in some imaginary past before you entered this dreary settled-down existence, this grown-up and responsible epilogue of your wildly brilliant former self. I say this as this may be the most "back in the day" record I've heard since that dad rocking trauma from Weller and Suggs. This record sounds exactly like you'd imagine it. Those yearning but snarly vocals? Check! That psychedelic and, at the three-minute mark, total Hendrix-indebted guitar sound? Check! Designer dumb lyrics that list all of the colours of the rainbow? Check! And, yes, I'm now listening to that other famous and far better song with 'Rainbow' in the title to get over this hollow facade. Check!

SEA GIRLS - Young Strangers (Alt Records)
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by Alan Rider

I am playing catch up a bit on this one as it came out before Christmas.  Its a quirky melodic britpop style song, nothing groundbreaking really, but they did make a very clever, if dizzy, video to go with this that fits perfectly with the song and has no shots of boys playing guitars or messing about Beatles style in it.  That's unusual so lets give them credit for that.  There are no girls in Sea Girls by the way. Its an all boy band. Girls seem to like them though.

KARYN - Anthem For Those Who Know (Mute)
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by Alan Rider

"I wanted to give this song to you now" says Karyn.  I really wish she hadn't because it is super annoying.  If it was a Christmas present I'd be returning it for a refund, but no such luck here. This is on Mute.  I wish it was.

THE WATERBOYS - The Whole Of The Moon (Video version)/This Is the Sea (Fast Version) (Chrysalis Records)
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by Jay Lewis

When I saw The Waterboys headline a festival a couple of years ago, they opened with 'The Whole of The Moon'. None of that, 'let's save our most famous song to the encore' malarkey. No, that's just too convenient, too conventional, too predictable. Sure, it's one of the greatest songs you have ever heard, but they have more, much more. And my, how they proved that. 

Equally, there may appear to be little rhyme or reason as to why the promo video version of the song should be different from the  record (did I suggest that Mike Scott could be a contrarian? Did  I?)  But that video version has now re-emerged as part of the 9 disc (yes, 9), exploration of their majestic 'This is the Sea' album, and here it is, in its slightly different glory. I'm certain that there will be numerous other versions unveiled. The box also included the pounding 'fast version' of the title track, with Tom Verlaine's anxious guitar playing helping to turn it into something delirious and different.  And I just adore that 'running around and banging your drum/like it's 1973' line getting a twenty-first-century update. The big music just got a whole lot bigger. 

FUTURE ISLANDS - Say Goodbye (Future Islands)
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by Toon Traveller

Vocals start out Bowie like, simple synth pattern, plodding syndrums,"oh Why, oh why, do I even try" wails a vocal, (no idea, give it up man),  morphed, a sub Duran Duran, meets Japan, mish mash, The worst of Uk's experimental 80's pop. Looked at the promo photo, black clad, eagerly looking into a quizzical distance. OMD trying revive 80's style  fashion. Like the music, FAILED. 

BRING ME THE HORIZON - Kool Aid (RCA/Sony Music)
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by Alan Rider

Any song about a relationship that includes the phrase "I got my hands around your throat I love the way you choke", interspersed with a chorus of "Do you want some more?" is deeply flawed.  I'm sure Bring Me The Horizon will claim that they are just singing about an abusive relationship, not endorsing it, but they have an audience, Grammy nominations, major label deal etc, so can't shrug off the fact that this comes across as celebrating abuse.  We don't need acts like Bring Me THe Horizon to highlight this issue.  We know it is bad to strangle your partner and tell them you will kill them if they leave you.  This lot singing about it just makes that seem acceptable.  Very poor idea guys!

CREPE GIRL - Drug (777)
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by Toon Traveller

Picked this 'cos she's posing on a 70's speaker, Celestion Ditton 25 Hi-Fi speaker, mine got blown at student parties. 70's memories pervade, Carol Bayer-Sager diction, severed over crisp tight in your ears snares, and a semi-rap delivery, keeping it real? 70's echoes seep through, call and response chorus, a lightweight, sway-a-long middle eight, and the her vocal delivery. It's going nowhere, but the journey's better that most. Great photo pose, rock credibility? Bonus heart.

HOUSE OF ALL - Aim Higher (Tiny Global)
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by LamontPaul

From the LP Continuum. You don't get many Double U's in words these or any other days. Wonder if that was the attraction to the title. So, am enamoured with the label, I trust them to do a bang up job. 

JULIA HOLTER - Spinning (Domino)
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by Jay Lewis

'Lacuna luck/Thaw this lung/Don't save my life/Let me move/Let me roll...' the opening lines of 'Spinning' (delivered over a rhythm that sounds like a washing machine, err, spinning), are as beguiling as ever. But, as I've never listened to Holter for anything approaching clarity, fabulous bon mots or any sing-along slogans, that's fine.  I frequently feel that I am waking from a dream when I listen to Holter and wonder whether or not I am still in that dream or not and 'Spinning' is not exception.  It is playful and sensual, it may be about love (she says "It’s about being in the passionate state of making something: being in that moment, and what is that moment?” - glad we cleared that up, cheers Julia), there's a pun about porpoises and there are other fish-based references. She's clearly having a whale of a time. 

SATANIC TEA CO - Shit Karma (Slam Worldwide)
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by Alan Rider

When you see a single on the list of new releases called "Shit Karma" you just have to give it a spin don't you? Well, I do anyway.  Not that I am particularly glad I bothered, as it is the same old Death Metal/Cradle Of Filth bollox you'd expect from a band with a name like this and with a lead singer (or more accurately, hoarse croaker) calling himself Crucifix.  The anime style video is a garbled pile of nonsense too of course.  I'd suggest Crucifix buy himself a bag of throat sweets and go have a lie down to try and shake off his shit karma.

ITZY - Mr Vampire (JYP Entertainment)
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by Alan Rider

Itzy is a South Korean girl group compiled by JYP Entertainment, one of those conglomerate K-Pop Asian music factories that give me the creeps.  To them, their 'stars' are like so much playdough, there to be shaped into whatever sells.  In this case its a pouting, dancing, Spice Girls/Girls Aloud rip off, with a dose of punky schoolgirl fetish thrown in, and all looking very weird with their heavily processed faces and bodies having an inhumanly plastic and robotic quality.  With over 2 million views to date, it's basically exploitation in its most brazen form and what's more, its victims are willingly queueing up to be exploited and moulded into 'stars'.  Until their sell by date is reached, that is, and they are discarded without a second thought.  Sad.  The title 'Mr Vampire' may very well sum up their true fate.

DYLAN LEBLANC - No Promises Broken (ATO Records)
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by Toon Traveller

Sometimes that far away washed out, cold desert morning, country whine, and tragic memories touches a heart string. Inspires wistful dreams, places you've never been, only movie screen, seen. Dylan's voice gets that mood, love lost, heart cracked, in dead end places. Love's tragic loser, nursing sanguine, tragic betrayed memories. Sure there's echoes of Gram Parsons, and early alt-country songsters. Authentic? Sounds it, free spirited? We all love that, life's trappings tie us down. Simple music, for a new year, escape dreams? New deluded hopes, nah, a song, a swirled whiskey glass memory. 

BRHYM - Deep Blue (Grandstand Media)
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by Toon Traveller

Bruce Hornsby - what happened to him? He's in a jazz / hip hop world, "between" according to Bruce "heaven and a deep blue sea". Do I wanna float with him, hmm? Lovely trumpet, back of the mix, swirly sitar, some great time changes, and syrupy strings, flutter and sting. Sadly the, 'in Ya face, ears, and soul, drums', kill what should be lovely. Advice for Bruce - BRUCE strip the auto drums, get a half decent "brush" player, make a decent record. Drowning in it's percussive flood, result?

TY SEGALL - My Best Friend (Drag City)
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by Toon Traveller

ahh so Ty lives semi rural idyll, with his hound, but it's music that matters. Pedestrian playing. simplistic, but not in micro-tonal way. Repetitive, derivative. When Richard Branson set up Virgin music in teh early early '70s, releasing eclectic pseudo hippy sounds, this may well have featured. Youthful memories. From the LP Three Bells, out on LP/CD/CS from Drag City on January 26, 2024.

LPs

DAFFODILL - 131 (Iconoclast Records)
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by Alan Rider

There was a time not so long ago when a band called Gods Toys looked like they would make it big.  They snagged a tour support slot with Adam and The Ants when Adam was busy topping the charts. TV appearances and a couple of singles followed. Then, before success could happen, they split.  That's a story many bands could tell, but it is still a crying shame when I think back on it.  Another attempt at fame followed from front man Dill, but that was not to be either and now Dill is back with his insanely productive solo act Daffodill (see what he did there?). He is up to album 131 (yes, you read that correctly!) and has stopped even giving them titles, simply opting for a number instead.  Albums appear at a rate of knots, with one, two, or more released every month, so by the time you read this, album 132 may well have come out!  It's competent stuff which covers a range of musical bases and styles, and as such it doesn't really have a single Daffodill sound, with Dill's vocals being the main linking factor.  With such a huge volume of output, its sometimes difficult to see the wood for the trees, so I would say to him please slow down a bit, Dill, and let us catch our breath!

BILL RYDER JONES - Iechyd Da (Domino Records)
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by DJ Fuzzyfelt

A strange one this. A long time ago Bill Ryder Jones was the lead guitarist in The Coral, however his solo albums sound nothing like them and, I have to say are all the better for it. As on his recent productions for Michael Head, and possibly the greatest band very few have ever heard of, Gintis, most of the songs here start off with either an acoustic guitar or a piano with Jones' vocals so intimate that it feels like you're sitting next to him as they're recorded. As they progress harmonies, strings, french horns and so on, even a children's choir at one point, appear.

Its a lovely album, and, in 'This Cant Go On' contains a bonafide classic song that will resonate for a long while... However, like with his last album Yawn, which was followed up soon afterwards by a more stripped down version called Yawny Yawn, a version of Iechyd Da without all the bells and whistles would be a beautiful thing. Three Stars, but Five Stars,  for what might be.

DISCONNECTED SOULS - Fragments of Consciousness (Self released)
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by Alan Rider

Lets face it, most bands on the metal scene look pretty bad. Disconnected Souls are no exception and look as ill at ease in front of the camera as they possibly could. Witness the ill-conceived video for the track 'Dissonant Whispers', where they are stranded by the director on a freezing and windy rock outcrop trying not to let their hair blow everywhere as they shiver, shuffle about awkwardly and mime slightly out of time with the backing track.  That's immaterial to their music of course, which is sub-Evanescence Goth bilge with song titles like 'Plague Rats', 'Loveless', 'Silence Of The Doves', and single 'Delirium'. They try hard, they really, really do. Unfortunately, they are just not very good at this.

AMARO FREITAS - Y’Y (Psychic Hotline)
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by Sofia Ribeiro Willcox

Sofia has a review of the LP, here→

INTO THE DEEP - Blackfin (Self Released (so no label))
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by Alan Rider

Dive Metal.  That's a new one on me.  It's a bit Slipknot-y, and very metal-ly, all chugging riffs, big drums and sore throat effect vocals rasping out incomprehensible lyrics going on about something or other.  Apparently they take inspiration from ocean ecology and conservation, oceanic wildlife, waves, and nautical craft.  You mean boats and fish?  These are songs about boats and fish churned out by three hairy rockers?  Seriously?  Blimey.  It's a funny old world.

FERAL FAMILY - Without Motion ( Blush Response)
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by Alan Rider

I'm going to get a bit technical with you here.  Not very, just a bit.  Take Feral Family.  Set aside the hilarious, over the top, and hyperbole laden press release and you have a Mission-ish Goth Rock band with a very decent set of tunes on their debut album, well recorded and mixed save for one critical element.  The vocals.  Its not that there is anything wrong with the singing, or the lyrical content (life in a seaside town like their native Bridlington), but the mixing and production of the vocals is deeply flawed.  It's common now to mix the vocals a bit too high, usually down to an ego driven conviction by the singer that the lyrics are the only element that matters.  In some cases that is justified if you are aiming for an anthemic, sing-along-at-a-festival-appearance hit, or if you are a band like Sea Girls, but for Feral Family, drenching the vocals in way too much reverb, and losing all the treble in a misguided effort to make them cut through, results in a gratingly tinny and off putting element to every song, with the vocals appearing sonically to be in another room.  This album has a producer and mixer called Liam Radburn. Based on the evidence here, I'd say Liam really needs to go back to school and work on his mixing skills before he is let loose on any other acts.

Other Materials

ELIJAH MINNELLI - Bike-Rack (Twin System)
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by Ancient Champion

Elijah Minnelli As one of the avowed leaders of the breadcore movement, Elijah Minnelli weaves dub down deep into everything I hear and like everyone reading this review I suggest that we'll all be hearing tons more from this spectacular and singular artist in 2024. Or maybe we won't. Who knows how Elijah Minnelli will choose to busy themselves. The music has so far come in such short runs it is can be tough to get hold of. But do it we must. Anyway, the tastemaker, Prehistoric Man was up at our place over the holidays and this is what we listened to. Breadcore in Bearwood. It was the greatest. Oh how we danced. (slowly)


Essentials
Main image: India Gailey, screengrab from her video.

OL House Writer

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