Well, already 2010 has been lighting up my musical cortex; an incendiary performance by Dirty Three kicked started my year of live music and though 2010 is still in its infancy, there have already been some great new releases. Here’s a taste of some of the music that is rippling the waters of this Lost Shark.
Blank Pages – The Album Leaf
This slow burning, cinematic track, effortlessly walks the line between serenity and melancholy and brims with a vibrancy that lifts it from mere mood music to something transformative, irresistable. Jimmy LaValle has again skilfully blended the organic folk sounds of violin, xylophone, percussion and horns with electronic ambience and programmed beats, to create an album (A Chorus of Storytellers) that is quietly assured, and big on emotional impact.
Little Bird – Eels
Mark ‘E’ Everett’s latest opus, End Times has been referred to as his Blood on the Tracks and he has never been one to pull punches when it comes to baring himself in his songs. Little Bird shuns humanity and curses the insincerity that is plaguing society. When E sings, Little Bird/ You look alright/ I’m sure its not easy/ Getting through your night, I am reminded of the loneliness in Hemmingway’s Old Man and the Sea, when a small bird comes to rest on the Old Man’s fishing line, only to leave him as the fish lurches and cuts his hand. Little Bird has that same hard won beauty about it… lonely and stoic, this is the sound of a man and his struggle.
Hide it Away – Retribution Gospel Choir
Low’s Alan Sparhawk made his name pioneering his very own brand of slowcore, but with the formation of Retribution Gospel Choir in 2008, the man proved that there is always room for rock. Hide it Away has got some real swagger, mixing spaced-out psych rock and lurching grooves with a catchy-as-hell chorus that will stick inside your brain like cobblers pegs. A full-tilt sonic rave that stings hard and beautiful.