Sounds on Sunday 28


More great sounds to accompany your weekend. Some excellent vocals this week, including Malaika, Cobalt Chapel and Rationale. Hope you enjoy the music, and please let us know what you think, in the comments below. Many thanks to all contributors!

Malaika – Stop for a Minute: “Produced and co-written by Grammy-nominated songwriter John Beck and recent winner of BBC’s ‘Let It Shine’ Curtis T Johns, ‘Stop For A Minute’ is the latest track from Leeds based pop/jazz vocalist Malaika. Turning heads across the UK since supporting JONES and winning ‘Best Jazz/Blues’ at The Unsigned Music Awards in 2016, Malaika’s saccharine vocals and jazz inspired melodies have received plaudits and support from Jamie Cullum at BBC Radio 2, Huw Stephens at BBC Radio 1 and BBC Introducing.”

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The Wheel of Your Tune


The Wheel of Your Tune works like this; I metaphorically turn my spinning top to reveal a random letter and number.  The letter relates to an artist or the name of an album in my collection and the number relates to the track by that artist or on that album.  This week’s spin landed on O and 3.

I own lots of tracks by artists whose name begins with O, but I don’t own enough tracks by any of them to choose from.  I’ve had to look at my albums instead.  The first one I came across was Once in a Lifetime by Talking Heads and song 3 is the titular track. Enjoy.

What’s your O3?

Where are the women of New Country/Americana? – Discuss

A couple of years ago I read an article about the Country Music Awards which referred to an artist called Chris Stapleton – he stole the show with two duet performances with Justin Timberlake (I have a secret crush on Justin Timberlake btw).  I’d never heard of him.  As you’ve hopefully now learned from these posts, my next move was to check out the impressively bearded man.  He has a decent heritage as a successful songwriter for other artists and had recently released his own solo album called Traveller (new album due soon).  It is the most gorgeous collection of soul searching tunes about life and love.  Soon after my introduction to Stapleton, a friend with a huge music knowledge and much tidier beard than all the fellas in the pictures, suggested tracks by The White Buffalo and a group called Blackberry Smoke.

The White Buffalo, or Jake Smith to his mum, has a larger solo output than Stapleton. He drew a wider audience after some of his music featured in the popular biker-club TV series Sons of Anarchy.  His most recent album, Love and the Death of Damnation, came out at about the same time as Stapleton’s Traveller.  His versatile voice lends a mournful tone to his musical stories which feature a gritty reality at their core.  Again – beautiful.

And so to Blackberry Smoke; a loveable crew of southern rockers with real variety to their repertoire.  They can do heavyish rock, classic country sound and funkier soulful stuff.  There’s often a little glint of humour about their output.  Apparently they are great live and have a reputation for being a hard working band.

I love the music these artists offer up, but I know next to nothing else about Americana/Southern Rock/Country.  The other day I was listening to Chris Stapleton’s new single and wondered where all the women of this genre are.  I’m not talking the old style female country singers we all know.  I’m talking the new generation.  Where are they?  I could go and do my own homework, but where’s the fun in that, when I have you guys to help me out?  I know at least 2 of you will know something about this.

Yet again ‘Spillers I come to you to fill in the gaps in my musical knowledge.  What can you tell me about all this and who else should I be tracking down?



Mathematics Instrumentals A List


I found the mathematics topic hard going this week.  I didn’t fall in love with much of the music and I had too much to do over the weekend to give the topic enough attention and love.  There were some last minute panic messages to a friend about how shit this was going to be and the much appreciated responses calmed me down and focused my attention again.  I can’t lie though, the advice of trying not to give so much of a f**k about this silly game didn’t quite stick.  I give a f**k about too many things; giving a f**k => to worry => lack of confidence in my ability to do the thing I give a f**k about.  It’s funny that he gave me that advice.  It’s the second time in a week someone has suggested such a course of action.  Only the other day a conversation with a colleague veered into similar territory.  They told me about a book they are currently reading to help them with their “giving too much of a f**k” issues.  It’s predictably called  The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k and it does exactly what it says on the tin.  They told me I need it in my life.  My mini meltdown while putting the RR playlist and write up together tells me I do.

I digress.  What I really wanted to do with the RR playlist about mathematics was to create a set of instrumental tracks from the nominations – I bottled it.  I lack the knowledge about maths in music to pull off something that.  Bastard confidence thing again.  So I thought I’d stick it here instead for you all the enjoy.  I think it’s much better than the one I put up in The Guardian, but I have no accompanying words; the music does the talking.


Wilson Wednesday – Dan Wilson


Yep, it’s that time of the week again – Wilson Wednesday, and today we look at the work of Dan Wilson. Well its Wednesday here, and if i have done my sums right it should have just ticked over to Wednesday in the UK.


Dan Wilson is the lead singer of the band Semisonic, a 90’s alternative rock band best known for this track.

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RR Films: Narcissism

Maybe the idea was sparked by yet another of Bliar’s attempts to turn the political spotlight in his direction, or maybe it was the continuous parade of grinning hypocrites asking for our votes, but narcissism is all around us. Even I – long averse to even owning a smartphone – have to confess to taking a selfie….

Actors may be particularly prone to the disease but perhaps that also makes them better able to portray it on screen, like Cate Blanchett in Woody Allen’s last decent film, Blue Jasmine:

What films about/involving narcissism would you recommend?