Monday, March 30, 2015

March Playlist: Roll Up Your Sleeves

March has been another eclectic month here at The Album Wall. Over the past few weeks, I've grappled with foreign languages, explored Cardiff's local music scene, analysed all kinds of different albums, and weighed in on one particularly stupid petition. Below is a 10-track digest of all the music I've been listening to this month.

Last month's playlist is here.

1. Oder Nicht Oder Doch - MIA.
(from Zirkus)
My blog about Zirkus mostly expressed exasperation at the fact that I don't understand the lyrics. Still, this is a solid opener in any tongue - it's actually track 6 on the album, but if Meat Loaf has taught me anything, it's that motorbike engine sounds are always a great way to kick things off.

2. Every Little Means Trust - Idlewild
(from Everything Ever Written)
I haven't written a blog about Idlewild's new album (not yet, anyway), but that doesn't mean I haven't been listening to it. This and Radium Girl are the two songs that I've been particularly enjoying thus far.

3. More Fool You - Maddie Jones
(from Vita Brevis)
Maddie Jones was one of the five female artists I championed in my International Women's Day blog. More Fool You shows off Maddie's jazzier side with no small amount of deftness, but jazz is far from the only genre she covers on her rather colourful Vita Brevis album.

4. Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse - Of Montreal
(from Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?)
After a brief spell as my favourite album in September of last year, Hissing Fauna returned to my personal rotation this month. This song is a lot of fun to sing along to in the car (though it's certainly not unique in that respect - the same goes for pretty much every other track on that album, too).

5. Gagarin - Public Service Broadcasting
(from The Race for Space)
I declined to call a clear winner in Public Service Broadcasting's Race for Space, but this funked-up number - dedicated to perhaps Russia's biggest achievement in the seventeen-year Space Race - sounds appropriately victorious anyway.

6. Because the Night - Patti Smith Group
(from Easter)
A couple of weeks ago, I put finger to keyboard to discuss Patti Smith's poetry and how she makes it more accessible by setting it to music. Because the Night is hardly the most densely poetic of Easter's ten tracks, but it is a pretty massive tune.

7. All the Wine - The National
(from Alligator)
You may remember that, last Friday, I made a case for Alligator's status as The National's best album...shortly before tearing it to pieces through over-analysis. I'm nothing if not unpredictable.

8. Mangler - White Skull
(from Public Glory, Secret Agony)
Italian power metal is best power metal.

9. Conqueror - Estelle
(from True Romance)
Writing about albums can really help you to understand them better - you tend realise new things and spot new connections even as you type. That's what happened when I was writing this blog about Estelle's new album; at first, Conqueror seemed detached from True Romance's overarching themes, but it eventually became clear that its function - establishing Estelle as someone who will never stop fighting - is crucially important to what happens elsewhere.

10. Whenever You Breathe Out, I Breathe In (Positive Negative) - Modest Mouse
(from Building Nothing Out of Something)
A confession: as super-excited as I was for the March 17 release of Strangers to Ourselves (Modest Mouse's first album in eight years), I actually haven't got 'round to buying it yet. Instead, I've been keeping myself satisfied with Building Nothing Out of Something, a stellar Mouse compilation from the turn of the millennium.

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