Friday, June 22, 2018

'On repeat in our house': your albums of the year so far

After a mid-2018 Guardian rundown, here’s a selection of additional readers’ favourites from the discussion provoked

After many listens this is definitely my favourite Father John Misty album, adding genuine heart and emotion to the usual combination of wit and irony. Can’t recommend it highly enough. BiggsDixxon

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by Guardian readers via Electronic music | The Guardian

Gang Gang Dance: Kazuashita review – shoegazey panglobal dreampop


In 2008, Gang Gang Dance’s breakthrough fourth album, Saint Dymphna, crystallised a manic moment, a time when blogs were abuzz with motley, abrasively joyous collisions of world and dance. Ten years on, and seven since their moody, complex fifth, Eye Contact, the New York trio have shifted to meet a very different global atmosphere, tuning in, as did Björk’s Utopia, to the soothing sounds of a new age revival and filtering them through shoegazey dreampop textures. Single Lotus would fit neatly on one of those 90s Pure Moods compilations, all loose guitar and soft synths, Lizzi Bougatsos’s voice – as beautiful, infuriating and varied as ever – conjuring a panglobal sacred pop. J-Tree builds its bliss slowly, reverbed guitar rolling and crashing, ending in a sample of Standing Rock pipeline protesters jubilantly greeting the arrival of a herd of buffalo. The title track lifts rattling percussion into light, bubbling beats reminiscent of In Sides-era Orbital, as artist Oliver Payne intones colour names in a mesmerising meditation, dispelled by a big breakbeat breakdown.

There’s always, of course, been a hippie undertow to Gang Gang Dance’s mission to forge communion between disparate sounds. “There’s nothing to be scared of,” a child’s voice assures at the end of J-Tree, but though we’re supposed to be past the stage of guilty pleasures in music, pleasurable or otherwise, these sounds (the scent of Enigma and Enya, the glimmer of fire poi in the corner of your eye) still carry a taint of dippy, fantasist indulgence. The band, however, see the album less as an escape, more of an attempt to sire a better world: it’s named after live member Taka Imamura’s new baby, whose name is a play on words roughly translating as “peace tomorrow”. Whether its dreamy palette is progressive or pacifying, Kazuashita undoubtedly brings moments of beautiful respite, not least on closer Salve on the Sorrow, whose floaty fantasy vistas – crashes of drums and trills of harp, Bougatsos’s cooing and whooping like a tropical bird – end hopefully, with the sound of a match flaring.

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by Emily Mackay via Electronic music | The Guardian

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Readers recommend playlist: songs about kings

A regal list this week includes songs from Richard Thompson, Gilbert and Sullivan, Boy George and the Proclaimers

Here is this week’s playlist – songs picked by a reader from hundreds of your suggestions last week. Thanks for taking part. Read more about how our weekly series works at the end of the piece.

This week’s callout produced a great number of nominations: songs about kings, songs about the King (of which more later) and a large number of songs that made me think the phrase “king of...” is somewhat overused by lyricists. So many great songs were eventually discarded, but thanks for nominating them. Do trawl through the suggestions and listen to as many as possible – this has been my favourite topic so far.

Related: Readers recommend playlist: songs about Elvis

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by Chaz Cozens via Electronic music | The Guardian
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