March was a great month for new music and we have a stunning playlist for you to add to your Apple Music library at the bottom of our post. See our review of our favourite new music for March 2018.
From album: In A Poem Unlimited
In the groundswell of the #MeToo movement, there is one word not often used: revenge. The ‘getting even’ approach features heavily throughout Meghan Remy’s 9th album as U.S. Girls. Not only has Remy opted for a bold new lyrical direction, the shift in musical style is equally stunning.
On single M.A.H. for instance, she has opted for a disco backdrop that sounds like Kylie Minogue from the Donna Summer era. The title is short for ‘mad as hell’, and that she is. After a verse that appears to be about mistreatment from a past lover, she launches into a tirade about a US president. No, it’s not the one you think. This time it’s Obama that comes in for some stick, basically for saying one thing and doing another in terms of stoking global hostilities. The video for the track (see above) continues the theme with multiple Meghan Remys doing the 70s disco dancing thang in black and white, interspersed with newsreel and other found footage ‘showcasing’ the US military effort.
(Also download from the album: Rosebud, Velvet 4 Sale, Rage Of Plastics)
Song: Cold Feet
From album: The Secret Life Of Planets
Zaki Ibrahim was born in Canada to a South African father and British mother. She resettled in Cape Town a couple of years ago and produced some interesting, but largely forgettable music. Returning to Canada to complete writing and production on latest album, The Secret Life Of Planets, fame is now hopefully just around the corner for her. The album is a triumph of the synth-heavy R&B genre that is rapidly becoming the sound of the final years of the current decade. Despite glowing international reviews and a near-perfect collection of songs, however, the album been criminally under-marketed. No singles, no videos and even low recognition in her adopted country. Hopefully Equilibrio’s review will at least turn a few heads her way.
We could have selected any number of tracks on the album, but Cold Feet is the one that feels most representative. #supportlocal
(Also download from the album: Dangerous, Get There, Galileo)
Everything Is Recorded
Song: Bloodshot Red Eyes
From album: Everything Is Recorded
XL Recordings has struck gold with a roster of talented, difficult artists over the last decade. Diverse acts from Adele to Frank Ocean and Vampire Weekend have been nurtured by label owner Richard Russell. Russell now brings us something of his own. Under the name Everything Is Recorded, Russell has assembled some of his label’s rising stars (Sampha, Ibeyi) and combines their voices with samples that span decades. The results are as diverse as the acts he represents, ranging from nu-soul, dancehall, reggae and hip hop.
The standout track on the album is Bloodshot Red Eyes, featuring Infinite on vocals. Infinite is the son of rap star Ghostface Killah. His soaring falsetto breathes life into this heartbreaker. Also listen out for the brilliant use of a sample from Grace Jones’ Nightclubbing on Mountains Of Gold (showcased in our ‘In Case You Missed It’ section this month).
(Also download from the album: Close But Not Quite, Mountains Of Gold, Show Love)
Song: Lois Lane
From album: Always Ascending
A massive return to form for the lads from Glasgow. After bringing us two definitive, brilliant albums in the mid noughties, the band lost their way and imaginative spirit over the next three. Now, seemingly unshackled from trying to be ‘too clever’ they sound like they’re having fun again. And a wild ride it is too. Just try get through this collection without a satisfied grin.
Lois Lane is an ode to a woman who chooses a career in journalism with a view to changing the world, and in so doing, being happy. Sadly, she finds herself attending bleak over-30s singles nights. A joyous synth line serves as a second chorus.
Oh, and the math-stomp of Huck & Jim is my five-year old’s current favourite go-to-school tune.
(Also download from the album: Always Ascending, Lazy Boy, Huck & Jim)
Song: Little Dark Age
From album: Little Dark Age
Speaking of comebacks, remember the band who brought us Time To Pretend and Kids? Well they didn’t stop making music, they just decided that drugs and psychedelia was the best way to disillusion their fan base. And now, realising that being famous and making money wasn’t such a bad thing after all, they come full circle to the sound that launched their career. Jaunty and melodic pop, peppered with daft tongue-in-cheek lyrics (sample: “the only reason we never worked out was you didn’t work out enough”). The title track, Little Dark Age, is pure goth for millennials. By the way… despite this being the vowel-baiting age, the band insist that their name is pronounced M.G.M.T and not ‘management’. Cheeky bloody contrarians.
(Also download from the album: When You Die, One Thing Left To Try, She Works Out Too Much)
In case you missed it…
From album: Nightclubbing (from 1981)
Despite its title, Grace Jones’ Nightclubbing album is where she swerved away from the Studio 54 disco sound that had become her staple. Here she moved towards something that could best be described as post-disco.
Despite being known mostly for her musical output, Jones is something of a superwoman:
She has street cred (born and raised in Jamaica to a somewhat crazy evangelical priest but still making it big in New York and Paris)
She has variously been:
– A ramp model for Yves St Laurent and Kenzo,
– Featured on the cover of top-end fashion titles like Vogue and Elle,
– A photographic model for the likes of Helmut Newton and Guy Bourdin, and
– A movie star, including playing the villain in the James Bond flick “A View To A Kill”
Yet she has enjoyed a stable marriage while being a successful mother.
Her carefully crafted image matched her purposefully androgynous music. Just take a look at the iconic album cover (a Tretchikoff-style painting by Jean-Paul Goude). Together with her producers Sly & Robbie, Jones was always looking out for tracks to cover and convert to her own unique style. On the Nightclubbing album, in addition to borrowing songs from Sting and Marianne Faithfull, there’s the title track. Previously recorded by Iggy Pop, and originally written by David Bowie, this should never have worked. But it does, spectacularly. Right down to Jones’ spoken requests for the track to be recorded ‘louder’ in the intro section. A languid piano line and slow back beat are the sole accompaniment to Jones’ singing. The late night chill movement started right here…
(Also download from the album: Pull Up To The Bumper, I’ve Seen That Face Before (Libertango), I’ve Done It Again)
LISTEN TO OUR PLAYLIST
You can listen to previews of each track by clicking on the icons next to the song titles below.
If you have iTunes and an Apple Music account, you can listen to the full songs and add the playlist to your library. Simply click on the white Apple Music icon.
For more of our reviews and playlists, click here.