2016 Playlist: I Found My Limit – Blue House

When I turn on BBC 6Music between the hours of 7pm and midnight, Blue House’s I Found My Limit is exactly the kind of song I expect, no, demand to hear. There’s so much to like; the gangly opening riff, the male-female vocal switch up on the chorus, a reference to “Playstation games”, and the way it not-so-subtly speeds up into a maelstrom of chiming guitars by the end. It’s unstuck from time in the way I want music to be when its coming out of a digital radio in a kitchen. I want to turn the radio on and cook. I want to cook you dinner while I listen to this song and I want to have one beer while I do it.

 

2016 Playlist: The Woman That Loves You – Japanese Breakfast

Like all the best breakfasts, Japanese Breakfast’s The Woman That Loves You is over in two-and-a-half minutes but leaves you wishing you could maybe have some more, please? Shifting from an ominous throb to a sound that I want to describe as “effervescent mall pop”, it manages to pack a lot into a short space of time. Like breakfast, guys. C’mon.

(The vid below cuts it down to an even shorter 2 mins)

2016 Playlist: Impossible Hand – Stephen Steinbrink

On Impossible Hand, Stephen Steinbrink manages to sound like Figure 8-era Elliott Smith with a touch of Real Estate. He even says ‘psychic pain’ at one point (which is a line that I’m fully aware is from ‘From a Basement on a Hill’, thanks). That said, Impossible Hand has a breeziness that Smith, for various reasons, could never muster… and probably didn’t feel like he ever needed to.

2016 Playlist: Chemical Trails – M. Craft

Marking the second of the M.’s featured in this year’s playlist, M.Craft is the less prolific when compared to his ‘Ward’ counterpart. I say less prolific, what I mean is “I’ve not heard anything from him since Silver and Fire which is a very good song and one I still return to often.”

Chemical Trails is no Silver and Fire, but that’s no bad thing. A ghostly piano ballad with some nice harmonies and whatnot. The song has also been ‘re-animated’ by Beyond the Wizards Sleeve, an act with a dumb name who we’ll come to in a later post.

Playlist 2016: Gamma Ray Blue – Laura Groves

So far, Laura Groves has released a series of tantalising EPs that give glimpses of how damn good she is. I’d say I’ve hammered songs like Dream Story and Pale Shadows to death already, except I’m nowhere near tired of hearing them. Gamma Ray Blue finds her transforming a Cleaners from Venus track into a shimmery dream-pop gem with more than a hint of Cyndi Lauper.

2016 Playlist: Ginger & Ruth – Jerry Paper

Another month, another arch, slacker-ish singer-songwriter type who’s probably way into his weed. What a time to be alive. Seriously. I don’t get tired of this stuff. Jerry Paper‘s voice has that croony quality that’s part Mac Demarco, part Deerhunter/Atlas Sound, and Ginger and Ruth finds it murmuring under a kitchy backing that’s occasionally punctured by most-welcome saxophone parps.

2016 Playlist: No Woman – Whitney

Ever read a profile of a band that makes you hate them so much you don’t want to listen to them any more? Maybe it’s just the way it was written, but this profile in the Guardian made me want to hate Whitney real bad. And I mean, look at that video below… crunching around  an autumnal log cabin trying so goddamn hard to seem ‘earthy’ and ‘real. Fuck these guys.

But… holy shit is No Woman a great song. It has that expansive, galloping feel that… y’know, Christ they probably wrote it in that fucking cabin. A cabin full of Hemmingway novels and craft beers and all they packed was baseball caps. Fuck these guys this song is so good.

2016 Playlist: Portrait of Basho as a Young Dragon – Glenn Jones

According to Wikipedia, Basho may refer to:

But nice as it was to fall down that particular Wikipedia rabbit-hole,  Glenn JonesPortrait of Basho as a Young Dragon appears to be a tip of the cap to guitarist Robbie Basho, an artist whose back-catalogue Jones has been preserving for over 30 years and who released an album by the name of ‘Portrait of Basho as a Young Dragoon’.

I didn’t know anything about Robbie Basho, nor Basho the Edo-period Japanese Haiku poet or the crater on mercury or any of that stuff, so it’s a good job there’s an internet sometimes.

The Glenn Jones song, the point of this post remember, is lovely.