This Week in Discover Weekly: 02.05.16

In This Week in Discover Weekly I listen to my Spotify Discover Weekly playlist and offer first impressions on each track in a line or so. I’ll then make a decision as to whether to KEEP in ‘Songs’ or DISCARD.  The ratio of KEEP to DISCARD will give the playlist a score.

I’m super late this week, so late that my playlist switched over to the next week’s one and I didn’t finish it. So I guess here you go? 

Electronic composer Dan Deacon is a name I hear a lot but I’ve never paid much attention to. Feel the Lightning isn’t making me regret that. DISCARD

A Sunny Day in Glasgow‘s Jewelry Duty (sic) on the other hand, makes me wish I’d paid more attention to the Philadelphia shoegaze outfit. I say shoegaze (because most biogs for the band do), but Jewelry Duty sounds more like Broken Social Scene label-mates Stars. KEEP

Wall of Death on the other, other hand… you get the point.  Loveland. DISCARD

Steven Malkmus & The Jicks’ Stick Figures in Love is breezy and thoroughly likeable. KEEP

I have a vague and distant memory of hearing that Richard Swift was working with Mark Ronson a few years ago and if that was true, it would explain The Bully: a vertiable puddle of hot piss. DISCARD

Blake Mills It’ll All Work Out is fine in itself, but it gives me an opportunity to talk about ‘Wintersong‘ from the same album, 2010’s ‘Break Mirrors’.  Wintersong is a fucking goody. So I’ll KEEP that and probably KEEP this one too on the off chance that it grows on me like Wintersong did. Seriously, Wintersong, excellent. Go listen.

I have absolutely no idea when I would ever want to listen to Dieuleul-Dieuleul by Aby Ngana Diop which I imagine makes me closed minded and a bad person. But Christ, it feels like listening to a migraine. DISCARD

Weird Little Birthday Girl finds Happyness murmuring through something not too dissimilar to Lambchop or Sparklehorse in their lowest respective keys. It’s lovely. KEEP

Weird Fishes / Arpeggi by Umphrey’s McGee was going ok but after a few minutes I started thinking ‘hey is this a live track?’ and then a really ropey backing vocal came in and I started thinking ‘yeah this is a live track’. It got noodlier from thereand I lost interest. DISCARD

Grimm Grimm’s  Hazy Eyes Maybe sounds like it would be right at home on the Rushmore soundtrack. KEEP

Both Nurses and Shilpa Ray‘s efforts are deeply irritating and cloying in their own unique ways, but fuck writing an individual thing for either of them. DISCARD and DISCARD

Why are those songs annoying, but Jens Lenkman’s A Postcard to Nina isn’t? It’s twee, it’s cutesy, it’s jokey enough to end up bordering on a novelty track. But it’s also pretty funny, and it’s from Lenkman’s ‘Night Falls Over Kortedala’, an album shot through with a goofy smirk. KEEP

Prinzhorn Dance School’s Clean is stirring up the same feelings that The xx gave me back in 2009, namely ‘ugh who cares’. DISCARD

And that’s where I stopped writing. 

This Week in Discover Weekly: 24.04.16

Just how powerful is Spotify’s all conquering algorithm? How accurate is it in guessing a person’s music taste?

In ‘This Week in Discover Weekly’, I attempt to find out. I’ll listen to my Spotify Discover Weekly playlist and offer first impressions on each track in a line or so. I’ll then make a decision as to whether to KEEP in ‘Songs’ or DISCARD.  The ratio of KEEP to DISCARD will give the playlist a score and that’s about a scientific as it gets. 

Your call is very important to Mark McGuire, please enjoy The Naacals while you wait. DISCARD

Didn’t I have this Darondo track on my Discover Weekly a few weeks back? Yes, and a few weeks before that. It remains excellent. KEEP

Jamaican Queens are probably hoping that some ‘edgy’ synth noises and a line about not wanting to ‘go down on her’ will distract from the fact that Water is a cutesy little crock of gimmicky shit. DISCARD

Not knowing much of The Brian Jonestown Massacre outside of what I heard on the mighty fine documentary Dig, (I Love You David Bowie) Since I Was Six is a surprisingly tender, ramshackle effort that has successfully calemed me after how much I hated that Jamaican Queens track. KEEP

While I’d probably enjoy it if it was on the soundtrack to something, it’s doubtful that I would ever seek out Galaxy 500‘s Strange. DISCARD

Jacco Gardener’s Grey Lanes might have soundtracked a Lynx advert had it come out  in 2003. As it stands, it’s more likely to appear mid-morning on BBC 6 Music. DISCARD

Miracle Legion front man Mark Mulcahy gets a life time pass for making the music for ‘The Adventures of Pete and Pete’ under the Polaris moniker. So All For The Best could be a couple of minutes of fart noises and I’d probably KEEP it. It isn’t that.

Documenta’s Love As A Ghost opens with the distant, distorted screeches of Loveless-era My Bloody Valentine before morphing into some delightfully hazy dream pop. It’s not new, but considering the gap between Loveless (1991) and mbv (2013), and the likelihood of Kevin Shields and co. turning out another album any time soon, you’ve got to take this kind of stuff where you can get it. KEEP

Were it not for a vocal performance that I can only describe as ‘needlessley snotty’, Icarus Himself ‘s Digging Holes would be ok. As it stands, it isn’t. DISCARD

EL VY sound very much like a side-project on I’m the Man to Be. Or U2 when Bono was going on about being a Fly. Utter horseshit. DISCARD

Several Shades of Green  is a song by Wreckless Eric that I did not enjoy, despite its Velvet Underground chug. DISCARD

I’m straight up crazy about Dog Bite‘s Forever, Until. It’s murky and wistful and covered in a very fine fuzz. A nailed on KEEP

If R. Stevie Moore and Ariel Pink collaborating on a track sounds like a great idea, then good news! It’s more than an idea… it’s a whole album apparently. Another No Answer is what the ‘demo’ button would sound like on all Casio keyboards if I were to ever gain creative control of the keyboard arm of the Casio corporation. KEEP

On Mark Kozelek’s War on Drugs diss track ‘War on Drugs Suck My Cock’ he writes of the band:

I heard them do their soundcheck; next to The Byrds
They’re definitely the whitest band I’ve ever fucking heard

I often worry that this is the whitest blog I’ve ever read, so Taking The Farm should fit right in here. It doesn’t quite. DISCARD

Larry Gus‘s The Sun Describes has an air of The Postal Service mixed with The Avelanches. It’s ok but I’m not going to be in a hurry to listen again all that soon. DISCARD

The Other Side of Mt. Heart Attack starts slowly, continues slowly and ends slowly. Nothing wrong with that, but I’ve forgotten it already. DISCARD

Bedroom’s We All Need Something has that loose twangy guitar sound that you hear on The Microphones’ album ‘The Glow Pt. 2’ – the one that sounds like a guitar that’s been pulled out of the back of a wardrobe and has never had its strings changed because who needs that hassle. KEEP

Can’t quite put my finger on what it is, but there’s a touch of The Dandy Warhols about Gap Dream’s 58th Street and that’s not something I find it easy to get on board with. That said, this isn’t bad. DISCARD

Pumarosa’s Princess sounds a bit 2011 and there’s something off-putting about the way this guy hits the ‘d’ in the word ‘dance’. In fact the more I listen, the more obnoxious it gets. DISCARD

I Don’t Mind by Psychic Ills is so completely listless that it’s sucked all the energy out of me. DISCARD

I’ve lost track of Tamaryn in recent years having enjoyed their 2012 album ‘Tender New Signs’ a fair bit. So it’s nice to hear Cranekiss and its Coteau Twins-esque shimmer. KEEP

The Chills’ Pink Frost is pretty good and I feel like I’ve heard it before. KEEP

Electrelane’s Birds is the lo-est of fis for much of its 4 minute run-time, picks up for the last 30 seconds and then judders to a close. Likeably glum. KEEP

Glenn Jones churns out really beautiful, delicate guitar and banjo instrumentals on albums adorned with knowingly-twee paintings of animals playing guitars and banjos on the front. Flower Turned Inside Out might not blow anyone’s mind, but Christ, does everything have to? KEEP

The Bats’ Made Up in Blue mark the second appearance of a band from New Zealand on this week’s DW (The first being The Chills). Proof, if it was needed, that New Zealand isn’t all toothbrush fence and Lord of the Rings. KEEP 

Life Without Buildings do that Life Without Buildings Thing “Spoken… Spoken… Spoken Spoken… Spoken Word. Spoken Word Spoken Word! The verse is Spoken Word.. Spoken words on the verse! … Spoken Spoken etc”) on New Town. I kind of feel like I can get by without it. DISCARD

The She Devils have put a lot of effort into making Where There’s No One sound like it’s playing on vinyl, but this results in the song falling into a ‘faux-vinyl uncanny valley’ from which it would appear there is no escape. DISCARD

Warpaint’s cover of Bowie’s Ashes to Ashes is really fucking good, giving the original a stuttering drumbeat that’s Interpol-esque in its nervy restlessness. It manages to change enough to be worthwhile, but stay respectful to an absolute jam. KEEP

From the sound of No Fear of Helfire, I’d say I like Nap Eyes. While I’m keen to prove that my frame of reference is wide enough that I don’t have to bring everything back to ‘It sounds like Yo La Tengo’, it does a bit. KEEP

Darker My Love’s Backseat is impossibly jaunty and pleased with itself. I am not as pleased with it. DISCARD

14 out of 30


This Week in Discover Weekly: 11.04.16

In ‘This Week in Discover Weekly’, I listen to my Spotify Discover Weekly playlist and offer first impressions on each track in a line or so. I’ll then make a decision as to whether I KEEP it in ‘Songs’ or DISCARD it.

Bouquet’s Stacks on Stacks sounds a lot like Broadcast or Stereolab in their lowest respective gears. Vintage synthesisers and drum machines, light fuzzy crackle. Never quite kicks on though. DISCARD

As someone with a deep and abiding love for shoegaze, I’m often recommended post-“spooky era” Horrors. I don’t quite get it. Connan Mockasin’s “remix”  of Still Life however (which is basically a cover) re imagines the swaggery, lagery indie of the original as something… squelchier. KEEP

I am The Changer by Cotton Jones is a warm, burbling low-fi alt-country tune that I will skip back to as soon as I hit a track I don’t like. And fuck: I’m a liar, got a tongue on fire, I oughta cut it off […] and when I do I’m gonna let you know”… that’s good. KEEP

Savas and Savalas’ Te quiero pero por otro lado is ‘pleasant’ in the way a ‘nice candle’ or ‘cool soap’ is pleasant. DISCARD and play ‘I am The Changer’ again

Boxed In’s All Your Love is Gone passes mostly without incident. DISCARD

Fallin Rain by Karl Blau never really goes anywhere which I wouldn’t normally hold against it, except it’s over nine minutes long. So buckle in for some of that good ol’ whimsical, sweeping Country, I guess. DISCARD

Yamasuki Singers’ Yamma Yamma  apparently featured in the opening episode of season 2 of Fargo which I haven’t seen and have no strong feelings about. DISCARD

Naytronix is Nate Brenner who plays bass in tUnE-yArDs. So it’s surprising that I’m ok with Mister Divine. Despite my feelings on tUnE-yArDs, the Song Exploder episode about ‘Water Fountain’ is a great bit of podcasting and made me respect tUnE-yArDs without enjoying the music all that much. This is good though. KEEP

Slim Twig‘s Cannabis sees fit to suck all the charm out of the Serge Gainsbourg original and pretty much double the length. Don’t get it. DISCARD

Beautiful Gurrls is a short song by Ricky Eat Acid so it’s got that going for it. DISCARD

Martin Rev’s  Mari is cute, real cute. Rev was in Suicide who I know very little about. KEEP

Flying Saucer Attack’s My Dreaming Hill is kind of like Yo La Tengo’s murmured vocals beneath the crunchy guitars of Sonic Youth or Jesus and Mary Chain. I don’t need to tell you that that’s good. KEEP

I was always a big French Kicks fan but I’ve not heard much from them for a while. Said So What comes from 2008’s excellent Swimming and makes you wonder why they never got the props that The Walkmen did. KEEP

I have a lot of time for Ariel Pink and Put Your Number in my Phone offers up some of his usual wry psych-pop, but this time with added “voicemail spoken word break”. It isn’t new to me but KEEP anyway.

Cross Record’s Steady Waves is the kind of gloomy growling gloom folk that Wye Oak were so good at before they became good at what they do now. Also reminds me of the Microphones. So KEEP, naturally.

Tell you what I’m not hungry for, Marching Church’s Hungry for Love. DISCARD

If “Animal Collective doing ‘Get Lucky'” sounds like something you’d be on board with, play Golden Dawn Arkestra‘s Dimensions at your wedding or something. DISCARD

The sheer time it’s taken me to write this week’s ‘This Week in Discover Weekly’ has benefited Harriet’s Burbank, which sounded impossibly weedy on first listen. On repeated plays however, it’s grown on me thanks to its restrained, murky atmosphere and a really ominous chord change that I believe to be pretty cool. KEEP

Fog Wave’s Get Back is some spooky echoey slow-core-ish stuff, so it’s ok with me. KEEP

Sentiment by Better Person trades in the same slinky 80s RnB pop that Nicholas Krgovich discovered post No Kids, but it’s somehow slinkier. KEEP

The Mantles The Island sounds way familiar. It’s alright. Bit like Woods but in much the same way that the long writing time let Burbank grow on me, The Island has seemed less and less like a place I want to visit. And hey, those are both places. God damn, sometimes they just sit up for you, y’know? DISCARD

Bleep blurp dingle dingle doop… Yeah Hot Sugar, Sinkies is ok. KEEP

One of the many reasons that Catatonia’s ‘Mulder and Scully’ is better than ‘Road Rage’ is that Mulder and Scully’s chord progression (and its transition between verses, choruses and bridges) feels more natural. Road Rage on the other hand, lumps between seemingly disconnected Britpop blobs like “fuck how do we get to the ‘Rrrroaddrrrrrage!’ bit?”. George Harrison’s I’d Have You Any Time is like Road Rage. Sure, the bits are nice enough but they don’t fit. And actually are the bits even that nice? DISCARD

Merchandise’s Become What You Are is… urgh what a terrible title. Like the name of an Ocean Colour Scene album track. It’s alright though. It’s sort of bombastic and melodramatic in the way that a McAlmont and Butler song might be. But wait! There’s a tempo change and an organ freak out and it’s 10 minutes long! Yeah, no, fuck it. DISCARD

Widowspeak’s Dead Love (So Still) is whispy-voiced jangle pop by a band with a singer who has hair I quite like. Wild and voluminous. The hair that is. KEEP

TW Walsh’s Fundamental Ground is good, but even better is TW Walsh’s profile pic on Spotify in which he has cool silver fox hair and a cool beard and is holding a cool axe. KEEP

End Girl sees Cara Striker and John Kirby join forces for a skittish, juddering 80s disco pop thing that has a fucking great synthy bass sound. There’s even a male-female vocal switch which is one of my favourite things when done well. KEEP

I was once chastised in GCSE Music for turning in a piece of work that sounded “like it was recorded in a toilet”. I still don’t see how that’s a valid criticism to this day. I mean, Julia Holter is covering Roxy Music’s  2HB in what may or may not be a public restroom and it sounds great to me. KEEP

Smog’s Time for the Blues is wearying in the most tiresome way. DISCARD

Early Interpol EPs and demos sounded not dissimilar to Country TeasersGolden Apples; spiky, distant, kind of unknowable. I wouldn’t have minded waiting two hours for this to download on Limewire. KEEP

This week the algorithm scores a respectable 17 out of 30