In the news: Harvey Weinstein is under investigation for allegations of sexual assault. A new Strategic Communications Unit has been set up by the Taoiseach to “streamline communications for citizens’’, and will cost €5 million — the SCU commissioned Budget 2018 videos, which were almost definitely a waste of money. A boycott of Twitter, #WomenBoycottTwitter, has spread across the platform to coerce Twitter into reevaluating its policies, and to highlight the abuse faced by women in society. And dirty Bertie misses out on a gold sticker.
In the music: F*ck loads of genre, indie psych trances, and folk twangs.
#1 Wide Open — Weaves (October 2017)
“I gotta tell you, I gotta tell you, something’s tripping me out’’. Weaves is a four piece band from Toronto, who made their debut in 2014 with their first EP Weaves, and their first full length album of the same name in 2016. Their new album released on Buzz Records, Wide Open, is a pop rock and indie inspired reflection on personal experiences and struggles in the world. The track ‘Wide Open’ is a down-beat experience, taking its time to Jasmyn Burke’s confession carried over distant guitar, and echoes of voices that could be floating somewhere in a dark empty room. A heartfelt and creative LP from an evolving band. You can listen here.
#2 Continental Breakfast — Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile (September 2017)
The magic between two musicians when they collaborate sometimes takes a while to become visible, or audible. The synergy that Barnett and Vile have is just there, and ‘Continental Breakfast’ is a warm acoustic conversation that you can imagine took place on the sofa one afternoon. It’s soothing to listen to voices that are in no rush, and instruments that let the music naturally lead into itself. It comes from their new album, Lotta Sea Lice, released today on the Matador label. The two musicians have blended their styles into an intimate folk tale. The video for the track comes together as a personal peek into their lives, shot by Danny Cohen.
#3 Stay Go (Go, Stay) — L’Rain (September 2017)
This is music in a kaleidoscope, sounding like several songs melted together in some crazy compositional sunburst. It’s exceptional. ‘Stay Go (Go Stay)’ comes from Brooklyn native Taja Cheek’s debut as L’Rain, on her self-titled album, released last month on the Astro Nautico label. The album explores electronic infused, down-beat indie melodies and experimental R&B waves. During the time the album was being made, Cheek’s mother became ill, and subsequently passed away. There is a very strong emotional undercurrent in the track, which can be heard in her voice, in the musical arrangements and the back and forth nature of the music.
#4 It’s a Shame — First Aid Kit (September 2017)
Klara and Johanna Söderberg released their third album, Stay Gold, in 2014. They are sisters who began their musical careers on MySpace in 2007, and subsequently rose in worldwide popularity and recognition, bringing them to their latest release ‘It’s a Shame’ ten years later. Their music is folk, indie, with an Americana sound. The lyrics from their upcoming album’s first release are centred around thinking about the past, moving on from a relationship, and feeling the pain that comes with that experience — “and now none of it seems real’’. The duo are songwriters that aren’t afraid to tackle issues that run deep in society. Before they released this track, they shared ‘You Are the Problem’ on International Women’s Day; a song about rape and the problems of victim shaming, and consent in our culture.
#5 Motion Sickness — Phoebe Bridgers (September 2017)
Stranger in the Alps in the debut LP from Californian artist Phoebe Bridgers. ‘Motion Sickness’ is a song about a break up, and Bridger’s own personal experience of going through this emotional time. It’s an interesting combination of sweet vocal melodies and light tones, with the very honest and frank lyrics that are woven through them; “ I hate you for what you did/ And I miss you like a little kid/ I faked it every time but that’s alright’’. This track is bordering on the pop side of the indie spectrum, but the album itself varied in its rhythm and tone. The LP was released on the Dead Oceans label, and Bridgers begins her tour on October 15.