Randy Newman’s still got it in for short people.
Here’s my 2019 Spotify mix. Tunes, old and new, that I discovered in the last year. Listen at the link below:
It’s a rather parochial list this time – only seven countries covered (the most being from England, the USA and – reflecting 2019’s travels – India)! But it’s a goodun.
1. Kirsty McGee and the Hobopop Collective – Madness and the Moon
It’s standard practice for me to begin with my favourite song of the year. This is the umpteenth time I’ve featured Kirsty McGee on one of my mixes. I’ve told you before what a astute songwriter she is, how she creates compelling melodies, plays neat guitar and is a masterful self-producer. Her latest is a career highlight, even by her standards. This is a grounded, cosmic love song. Here’s the video: https://youtu.be/vyhIVPKOpgs
From The Deafening Sound of Stars (Hobopop Recordings, 2019). Available to buy directly at https://kirstymcgee.bandcamp.com/album/the-deafening-sound-of-stars.
2. Vampire Weekend – Harmony Hall
An upbeat, nearly trance-y song from Vampire Weekend with a typically nifty guitar, but it seems to explore rather darker lyrical matter.
From Father of the Bride (Spring Snow / » Continue Reading.
I’ve finally got around to writing up my notes of my Spotify mix for 2018. I hope you enjoy it!
Here’s a mix of my favourite pieces of music, new or old, that I discovered in 2018. Eight different countries are covered this time, but bar a couple of African and a couple of Indian numbers it’s fairly Western-centric.
As ever, remember Spotify pays bugger all, so please check out the artists, follow them, buy their music, go to gigs etc.
Here it is: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/7mssuvgesf2F6xhuQjJFVi
1. Anna & Elizabeth – Mother in the Graveyard
It’s traditional that I start with my favourite discovery of the year, which I concluded was this one, by the same American singers that closed last year’s mix.
From ‘The invisible comes to us’ (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, 2018)
2. Kylie Minogue – Golden
I adore Kylie and she’s back with a great new album, complete with a country tinge.
From ‘Golden’ (BMG, 2018)
3. Norma Waterson and Eliza Carthy with the Gift Band – Strange Weather
This mother and daughter are stalwarts of the English folk tradition, but Norma’s wonderful voice works just as well (or possibly, whisper it, better) on jazzy versions of original songs » Continue Reading.
Ticket going for Richard Thompson tonight at the Barbican. My friend has a family crisis and can’t make it. The ticket was £50 and I’m sure a contribution towards her costs would be welcome, but she’d rather someone has it for free than it gets wasted.
It’s taken me four months to write up, but as usual, I’ve made a Spotify mixtape of my favourite music (and, this year, spoken word), both new and old, that I discovered last year.
If you like something you hear, please follow the artist on social media, buy their music and/or go and see they live, because Spotify pays diddly squat.
1. Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker
A hero. Cohen wrote this song (with Patrick Leonard) for his final album, speaking pretty directly about his own mortality and embracing his Jewishness. His son Adam Cohen was the producer and the Shaar Hashomayim Choir from the synagogue of that name in Montreal feature. Of the choir he wrote, ‘ Even as a boy I loved their singing. It is what made compulsory synagogue attendance enjoyable. I’ve wanted to work with the cantor and the choir for a long time. The touring years interrupted this intention. On a secondary but still urgent note, there are times when you want to show the flag, when you want to indicate that there is nourishment to be had from this culture, that it is not entirely irrelevant to the present situation, that it » Continue Reading.
It gets a bit later every yerar, but, as ever, a carefully sequenced Spotify compilation of my favourite musical finds (both old and new) of the last year:
I remind you, dear reader, that most of these artists here are small scale, playing non-commercial music out of passion and commitment. To be able to make their art into a career they need patrons. Spotify is great for lots of things, but if you listen to this playlist ten times with a premium subscription the most you are going to be paying the rights holders is less than 2p (and I think Spotify exaggerates these payments anyhow). It’s for intents and purposes free music. If one of the artists features piques your attention, do check them out further, buy their albums and gig tickets so that they can keep making music.
If you’d like to keep up with my musical adventures, please do head over to www.facebook.com/christopherconderwriter and give me a ‘like’!
1. Jarlath Henderson – Courting is a pleasure
I marvelled when I watched Jarlath Henderson, a piper from Northern Ireland, win the BBC Young Folk Award in » Continue Reading.
Hello, an annual contribution from a long-time lurker:
As is now convention, here’s my Spotify mixtape of my favourite musical discoveries, new and old, from 2015.
If you like this sort of thing, feel free to follow my ‘blog’ at www.facebook.com/christopherconderwriter.
As ever, I remind you humble listener that Spotify pays a mind-bendingly miniscule royalty to artists, so if you enjoy something on here do think about buying the album or going to a live show.
1. Bush Gothic – Female Transport
It’s funny how things work out. I’ve been in e-mail correspondence with Jenny M. Thomas of Bush Gothic for several years. This year she finally made it back to the UK for some shows with the Spooky Men’s Chorale. I invited Jenny and her partner/bassist Dan Whitton round for dinner. I also invited fellow music journal Ken Hunt and his wife Santosh, who is turn bought Indian violinist Kala Ramnath, who happened to be staying with them. Next I knew, I had two world class violinists jamming in our front room. Bush Gothic released their near album at the end of 2015, and it’s another instant » Continue Reading.