I’ve been meaning to recommend this 2010 album for ages. I can still remember the car journey when I was sitting in the back and had to lean forward and ask: ‘excuse me, can you tell me what the fuck this music is right at this very moment, if you’d be so kind?’

I’m pretty sure the track being played was ‘Riot Rhythm’. As someone who spent their formative years trying (and failing miserably) to record music that sounded terrifying heavy, it’s not that often that music just blows me away through sheer force of sound. But this was a way of creating that oh-my-god-the-speakers-are-going-to-explode that I’d never heard before. Although there are some great lyrics too, and a really good sense of angular but catchy melody.

This has definitely been one of my go-to albums for those “I must destroy the world, but thoroughly this time…” moods we all get.

Current Favourite Track:

Despite them doing HEAVY so well, my favourite track as always been the least heavy on the album: ‘Rill Rill’.

This month’s folky recommendation is the 2014 album Wide Awake by Joy Kills Sorrow.

And it appears courtesy of Spotify changing my music-listening habits and stopping me from listening to the same 12 albums over and over again.

Great songwriting. Great singing. And sort of developing a theme of recommending mandolin virtuosi

Current Favourite Song:

Fun though their cover of The Postal Service’s 2003 hit ‘Such Great Heights’ is, it’s actually the first track: ‘Was It You’.

I was looking on YouTube for Playford tunes*, and I stumbled on this.

Arranged and recorded by Bear McCeary, composer to the stars and general musician-at-arms for (amongst other things) the TV series Black Sails, which is kind of Pirates of the Caribbean meets Game of Thrones. I haven’t watched any of the episodes (I’m not sure how to get it in Ol’ Blighty) but it looks like a lot of fun.

The Parson’s Farewell has always been one of my favourite Playford tunes, and many many people have done versions of it. I’ve never heard a Hollywood version before. Continue reading

It’s taken a while to realise that, for me at least, Laura Marling music only really starts to come alive on the 4th or 5th listen. And her new album has become one of those albums that I just listen to over and over and over again, which is not something I’ve had in a while. To the point where I wonder whether I’m becoming a bit sick of the album, but, yeah, I might as well put it on again, because, y’know… Continue reading

I haven’t read the book. Because, you know, all the tiny little words. And because I’m a terrible human being.

And I haven’t seen the Noomi Rapace / Michael Nyqvist Swedish film, or not all of it anyway. I saw some of it, and it looked fine, but not outstanding. (Sad to hear that Michael Nyqvist died on Tuesday by the way — only 56!)

And I know that my brother and sister-in-law who live in Sweden saw the 2011 film that I’m recommending (directed by David Fincher and starring Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig) and chuckled all the way through, because these Hollywood actors were wandering around Sweden speaking English. And all of them are putting on Swedish accents, except Stellan Skarsgård, who is Swedish, and Daniel Craig, who can’t be arsed.

But I think it’s a wonderful film. I loved it in the cinema, and H and I watched it again recently and I loved it just as much.

Continue reading

I love love love love love documentaries. And nobody makes documentaries better than the BBC. I can always tell if a documentary is American, because it’s clearly made by people who have no faith in their audience whatsoever.

Or… that used to be the case. Not so anymore. Continue reading