Monday, August 31, 2015

August Playlist: Roll with the Changes

August - and, by extension, summer - is just about over, but before we dive head-first into autumn (my favourite time of year, brimming with colour and crispness and dancing celebrities), let's look back at the last thirty days and take stock of what I was listening to this month...

1. Dimed Out - Titus Andronicus
(from The Most Lamentable Tragedy)
August was the month I finally sank my teeth into Titus Andronicus's two-disc rock opera, The Most Lamentable Tragedy. The album's rollicking lead single is still a highlight, but there's plenty more where this came from - read my thoughts on TMLT here.

2. Poor Man - Flap!
(from Flap!)
Jazzy 'don't need no money' fun from Melbourne, Australia. Not bad a for a charity shop find, eh?

3. Killing Time in London Fields - Trembling Bells
(from The Sovereign Self)
This purposeful, noisy number is singer Lavinia Blackwall's favourite song from the new Trembling Bells album, at least according to the Q&A I did with the band earlier this month. Read the full thing here.

4. The Mess Inside - The Mountain Goats
(from All Hail West Texas)
I got my first taste of pre-Tallahassee Mountain Goats this month when I bagged All Hail West Texas as part of a 2 for £5 deal in Rise Records, Bristol. It's a starkly different affair to the lush textures of, say, Heretic Pride, but there are still some corking songs to be had, not least The Mess Inside, a beautiful ode to faded love.

5. Just for Fun - The Shalalalas
(from There Are 3 Las in Shalalalas)
You may remember that I discovered The Shalalalas at Primavera back at the other end of summer. Well, I now have their album, and it's a joyful thing from start to finish. This song is one of several standouts - remember to take a drink at the key change!

6. The Days - Patrick Wolf
(from Lupercalia)
Lupercalia is far happier than I expected any Patrick Wolf record to be; The Days is one of the album's more melancholy cuts, but there's still a wellspring of hope and peace behind that aching harp figure and PW's measured, magnificent delivery.

7. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) - Bruce Springsteen
(from The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle)
I may not have heard Born to Run, but thanks to Rise Records (this was the other CD in that 2 for £5 deal), I've now heard its immediate predecessor. Has anyone ever made a list of all the women Bruce Springsteen has named over the course of his career? Of the top of my head, I can think of Rosalita, Sandy, Maria, Mary from Thunder Road, Mary from The River, Sherry, and Bobby Jean (although that last one is a little ambiguous).

8. Hard Enough - Brandon Flowers
(from Flamingo)
Brandon Flowers and Jenny Lewis should definitely record a full album together.

9. Gathering of Ancient Tribes - Goat
(from Commune)
Goat were the last band I saw at this year's Green Man Festival, and undoubtedly one of the best. Their commitment to wearing those masks was very impressive, too, although they did seem to cause problems during soundcheck - I guess tech people, blighted to a man by deafening tinnitus, rely on lip reading a lot.

10. Putting the Dog to Sleep - The Antlers
(from Burst Apart)
The Antlers were another Green Man highlight, and oh my gosh I was so thrilled when they closed with this song. It my have looked like I was standing upright in front of the Mountain Stage that evening, but inside I was curled hard into the foetal position. That's really the only way to experience Putting the Dog to Sleep.

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