Music to Start the Week With #043
by: Diego Martínez
July 23, 2012
A wise man by the name of Robert Nesta Marley Booke once said: “One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain.” Boy, do his words resonate so well even to this day? Just the beat of a drum is enough fuel to heat up a hectic day or color a memory. Not only is The WILD willing to fuel you with good music, but is also open to share it and talk some interesting facts about it so you get to know each fresh tune from the inside out. Behold, our weekly present is here.
We kick things off with Meshell Ndegeocello and a beautiful rendition of a classic by the one and only Nina Simone. On the heels of her critically acclaimed 2011 album Weather, Ndegeocello announced the release of her 10th studio LP, Pour une âme souveraine (“For a sovereign soul”), a dedication to the pioneering work of an artist who refused to be owned by genre, industry, or expectation. On the lead track “Be My Husband,” Meshell is joined on vocals by NYC singer-songwriter Valerie June, surrounded with plenty of charming stomping, clapping and chanting.
Jim Noir just might be one of the most underrated geniuses of our day. The classy Manchester multi-instrumentalist, noted for his esoteric dress sense and equally esoteric tunes, has created several wonders in just 7 years: a bucketload of EP and only two albums, 2005′s Tower of Love and its 2008 selftitled followup. From the latter comes “Ships and Clouds,” another example of Noir’s ear for brilliant melodies and eye for the unparalleled absurd.
It looks like this band is ready to shake off that unfair compliment of being called ‘your little sister’s Arcade Fire.’ NYC indie five-piece Freelance Whales are prepping up for the October 9 release of its sophomore album Diluvia, produced by Shane Stoneback, who has worked previously with Vampire Weekend and Sleigh Bells. After two or three consecutive listenings to the sunny and romantic new single “Locked Out,” it shows they are headed for the right direction. You can also check out the song’s ‘trippy’ visualizer, which is rather cool in a retro sort of way.
We’ve never featured Ska music here, and that’s a shame because we can easily find gems like this one, a cover of The Delfonics’ soulful love song from 1968 “La La (Means I Love You).” The man singing is no other than the ‘godfather of Rocksteady,’ the late Alton Ellis. Unlike Reggae master Bob Marley, most of Ellis’ songs went against the violent rude boy subculture that emerged from Jamaican dancehalls. He was later recognized as a major but little-known influence in the trajectory of current dancehall, reggae and hip hop.
West Australian psych warriors Tame Impala are making a triumphant to the music scene with Lonerism, followup to 2010′s Innerspeaker and scheduled for October 9th via Modular Recordings. Like “Apocalypse Dreams” (which pretty much sounds like the love child of Sgt. Pepper’s-Beatles and Pink Floyd) expect the usual searing guitar lines, bouldering drums, free bass and the dreamy vocals of lead singer Kevin Parker on the new 12-song set, only with an added element: there are plenty of synths in almost every tune.
6. Alfie – Star
LA-born R&B singer Alfie Silas (born Alphanette Silas) began as background vocalist for the likes of Toto, Gino Vanelli and Martha Reeves and later enjoyed a moderately successful solo career. After two albums that barely charted, her tune “Star” was featured in the soundtrack for the 1985 martial arts film “The Last Dragon.” The song was not all that big of a hit, but remained an obscure classic in clubs around that time.
It’s apparent that we like to imagine secret meetings between stars and potential love childs that would make up an actual song. Now think about a dream alliance consisting of Nile Rodgers, Giorgio Moroder, Trevor Horn (in his “Slave To The Rhythm” productions) and Afrika Bambaataa with a slight touch of Prince. Brightboy Adam Bainbridge knew was he was getting into when he made “That’s Alright,” the next single off his fantastic debut World, You Need A Change Of Mind.
For the lead single off his just-released debut album Micro Mega, French born and Berlin-based musician Steve Strip teamed up with the lucid and wild-eyed dream-pop outfit Puro Instinct. Breaking away from his more dance floor-like focused tunes, “Astral Projection” takes us, the listeners, on a trip through psychedelic-noir disco pop, encapsulating musical influences from The Beach Boys, Chic, and modern disco like Amplified Orchestra.
You can always count on French girl duo Icona Pop if you want to get an attitude check-up and they do it brilliantly with their smash anthem “I Love It,” their best known track. Recently, the Boston-based progressive team Case & Point released a bootleg of that tune and it is glorious. They take the original, add some synths, sprinkle on a little summer flair and voila: you’ve got yourself an electrohouse banger.
Portland indie rockers Menomena are closing this WILD playlist with a preview of their fifth album Moms, set for September 18th via Barsuk. This is really heavy stuff: the whole bulk of Moms is inspired by the death of Danny Seim’s mother when he was a teenager and Justin Harris’ single parent home growing up. The confessional is served with a giant plate of lonely piano and fuzz guitar, mixed with references of discordant families a wandering search for love. Heavy stuff indeed.