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Playlist 456 - July 18 2017: Best of 2017 Mid Year Review

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A playlist from the first half of 2017.

Some were reissued this year.

One is an extract from a longer piece.

Most will be familiar if you're a regular listener.

Part 2 of this selection comes up next week.

Say hello to Laetitia and friends.

Enjoy.



The Underground of Happiness
uplifting pop music of every creed


www.theundergroundofhappiness.blogspot.com
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Playlist 456
Tues July 18 2017
11.00am-12.00pm
(repeated on Tuesdays 8.30pm)
UCC 98.3FM
listen live on the web at www.ucc.ie/983fm
*listen back to this show here
goo.gl/73FkiB


Playlist
The Comet Is Coming – March of the rising sun (playing Liverpool Psych Fest, Sept 23)
Snapped Ankles – Jonny Guitar calling Gosta Berlin
Percolator – Crab Supernova
Golden Retriever – Pelagic tremor
Matthew Bourne – Isotach
The Roger Webb Sound – Moon bird (English Weather compilation)
Kamasi Washington – Truth (extract)
Goldfrapp – Anymore
Manu Louis – …

Caroline Says – Winter is cold (from the album 50,000,000 Elvis fans can’t be wrong, Western Vinyl)

I love a good backing vocal.

Especially the kind that elevates something already good into something special.

That’s what happens here on the opening song of the album by Caroline Sallee who goes under Caroline Says.

A simple but handsome acoustic fingerpick takes on an atmosphere of intrigue with the addition of an intrusive backing hum.

I say intrusive to mean you can’t but be aware of it and it’s recorded right up to the mike becoming a wash that is higher in the mix than you would be used to for background humming.

It also enters along with the main vocal which is immediately...not disorientating as such but certainly wrongfooting.

Later the hums turn into sighs and swoop and swoon in a way that only reminds me of My Bloody Valentine.

This is a clue for the rest of the album in fact as folk rubs shoulders with off kilter jangling pop elements (in which some of the melodies carry a certain MBV-ish menace). You might not say shoegaze bit it is a dream of what p…

Playlist 455 - July 11 2017

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Some baroque pop majesty this week in the shape of The Zombies (the ultimate summer pop song) and The Magnetic Fields (delicious lyrical flourishes about Stonewall, Serge Gainsbourg and drag kings throwing bricks with Judy Garland’s name on them).

Bedouine (pic) is a Syrian-Armenian-American who makes sublime hushed folk pop and with the help of Matthew E White’s crack Spacebomb crew has made one of the most beguiling albums of the year, in a muted orchestral glory kind of way.

Caroline Says is another American and she also has a great line in hushed sounds. It’s bedroom pop of a sort and I particularly love the wash of backing vocals here (her own) turning a bare folk arrangement into something deceptive and intriguing.

Diagnos. Todd Terje. Bruce Haack with savage vintage moogs.

And Michael Nau with a beautiful dreamy dream of a thing.

More on these pages. (And watch out for the first of 2 x Best of 2017 shows next week.)



The Underground of Happiness
uplifting pop music of…

Playlist 454 - July 4 2017

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Some classic Pavement on the show this week from their great Wowee Zowee album from 1995. The Stevens from Melbourne sound like fans, taking their serpentine guitarlines and winding them into thrillingly surreal rock shapes. Marika Hackman too has something of the Pavement spirit I think. Her new album has lovely clipped acerbic lyric lines (hot and steamy too) and the backing from English group The Big Moon is good and sturdy and suitably spiky.

Kamasi Washington is in Europe playing shows. Take 13 minutes out of your day to listen to his masterpiece ‘Truth’, an epic and freewheeling work of orchestral cosmic jazz.

Future Islands are in the middle of an Irish tour (when did we think we’d ever be saying those words?). We heard one of their pre-Letterman genius cuts, authentic southern soul meeting a rushing New Order world view.

And Joan Shelley with a delicate feather of a vocal a gorgeous uplifting thing of beauty.

More on these pages.



The Underground of Happiness
upliftin…

Yorkston Thorne Khan – Chori chori (from the album Neuk Wight Delhi Allstars, Domino Records)

A second brilliant album of east west exchanges...

...featuring Indian sarangi on the one hand and reverberating British folk drones on the other.

And the mesmerising voice of Suhail Khan swinging and twirling with carefree abandon.

It’s a heady mix. I particularly love the loose baggy double bass of Jon Thorne a lovely down to earth quality to balance the poise and elegance of the sarangi.

Stirring stuff.

Terry – Glory (from the album Remember Terry, Upset the Rhythm)

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I don’t need much encouragement to get worked up about Australian bands but even so I like this crowd a lot.

Melbourne seems to be quite the hotbed this weather from where this four piece fashion what they’re calling dolewave.

I’m not sure it’ll catch on as a name tag but the music has a charm and swagger to it that’s very appealing and the word slacker might not be out of place.

Rudimentary drum machine.

One note couldntgiveafuck guitar attitude.

Supremely deadpan vocals proclaiming “off his bloody head goes”.

The beautiful judicious use of a fuzzbox.

Another Australian band who manage to make pop poetry out of unpromising materials.

Golden Retriever – Sunsight (from the album Rotations, Thrill Jockey)

Sublime ambient ruminations from the Portland duo...

...in which time is made to stand still by a bass clarinet and synthesisers.

The fractured opening actually has a certain feel of ECM jazz. Slowed down and bare except for the odd string slide.

Gradually the analog synths and clarinet take hold gorgeously. Long reedy swells capped by twinkles of keys.

It has a warmth to it and a mood of stoicism that is most captivating.

Rotations by Golden Retriever