The radio waves are once again beaming from the inertia fm transmission tower as we broadcast to you our curation of tunes for the month of November. There’s plenty of tasty songs to go around so hook up your preferred speaker and get soaked in some hand picked sounds.
Alex G- Forever
Alex G has been a go-to of mine for a long time now. The often melancholic middle American suburbanite somehow strikes a chord with me, despite that particular aesthetic usually falling flat. Something about the lo-fi introspection that is forever present on Alex G’s is reminiscent of such great singer-songwriters that have come before him as Elliott Smith or Nick Drake. His music is simple and great and no song of his has been stuck in my head recently as much as Forever, a tune that is at once sad, defeated and optimistic.
The Fall- Lost in Music
This cover of the disco classic by Sister Sledge is almost as good as the original, which is really saying something. Mark E Smith and his ever rotating bandmates took on the challenge of crossing genres to cover this gem in 1993, on their album ‘The Infotainment Scam’. In my book the cover is a triumph and a testament to the ability of Smith and it very nearly justifies his militant approach to his band. The cover shows a more fun side to one of the most iconic figures in British music, whose prolific output will be enjoyed by generations of future music lovers after his death in 2018.
Iceage- Plowing Into the Field of Love
The Danish band often labelled as ‘post-punk’ are one of the best bands to come out of the 2010s. With a discography of four great albums, all spread evenly across the decade, I really hope that we can expect more new music from Iceage soon. In my opinion, Plowing Into the Field of Love is the pick of the bunch in terms of their albums and what better song to represent the album than the title track. This song has all of the Iceage staples; heavy drums, amazing guitar melodies and the unmistakeable vocals of frontman Elias Rønnenfelt, what’s not to like?
Nadine Shah – Place Like This
It’s such a relief to hear something as refreshing as the music of Nadine Shah after such a long period of feeling like my listening habits were beginning to stagnate. Spotify’s radio function rarely throws up any surprises but I’ll give it credit where it is due for throwing me this bone. Shah’s sound grabbed me right away – there’s something really endearing about its sort of twisted, unapologetically fun energy that made a connection right away. Place Like This is the opening track to her Mercury nominated LP Holiday Destination, and it’s a gorgeous exhibit of her heady cocktail of various influences and inspirations.
Suicide – Dream Baby Dream
This song sort of listens like a weird, fuzzy lullaby. It’s subdued but not sad, bright but not happy – sitting in a kind of strange, emotionally ambiguous space versatile enough to soundtrack a good cry or even a first dance at a wedding. It takes an incredible amount of musical ability to straddle that line so carefully, and yet synth-punk duo Suicide make it sound so immensely easy. I think the blank canvas the song throws up explains its lasting, timeless appeal, and whether it makes you feel all warm inside or speaks to a meaningless dread in your soul it’s an escapist listen that helps to take you to another place for just the briefest of moments.
Hassan Abou Alam – Distorted Reality
Across the Arab world electronic music has undergone a bit of a breakthrough of late, with producers popping up everywhere from Morocco to Lebanon, showcased by forward-thinking labels like Casa Voyager giving a voice to talent in the region. Egypt’s Hassan Abou Alam is one such artist at the forefront of his country’s emerging scene, and on track Distorted Reality he serves up an expansive, moody soundscape with a flourish of hypnotic acid riffs, marching percussion and zippy samples that kind of make you feel like you’re being uploaded onto a motherboard.