15 tracks of the month’s best new music
1 PETER PERRETT An Epic Story
“I’ve read this book too many times/ The hero’s death is tragic every time…” A poignant opening to this month’s CD, perhaps, but the Only One’s presence here is a heartwarming testimony to how harrowing rock’n’roll myths can sometimes have happy endings. Perrett’s How The West Was Won is our Album Of The Month, and you can read his own insights on page 21.
2 JOHN MURRY Wrong Man
Another auspicious survivor in the Uncut firmament, as the stealth hero of Americana fetches up in Toronto, via Kilkenny, in the company of the Cowboy Junkies’ Michael Timmins and former Pogue Cait O’Riordan. “Teems with guilt, regret, selfrecrimination, a sense of personal rot and bitter fatalism,” notes Allan Jones on page 34.
3 BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE Halfway Home
A gigantic group hug, now, from the all-star Canadian indie collective, currently numbering upwards of a dozen. “A strong reassertion of Broken Social Scene’s equally fervent enthusiasms for indie-rock fuzz and major-key melodicism,” says Jason Anderson in his ecstatic review (page 22).
4 BEDOUINE Dusty Eyes
A new recruit to Matthew E White’s Spacebomb empire, Azniv Korkejian’s rheumy take on countrysoul reaches its apotheosis on “Dusty Eyes”. Discreet twangs and orchestration, and a pace and nuance that recalls another hidden treasure of LA, Josh Haden’s Spain.
5 THE DESLONDES Hurricane Shakedown
While their old cohort Alynda Segarra explores new territory with Hurray For The Riff Raff, The Deslondes remain heroically immersed in New Orleans. Their musical horizons are broadening too, though: witness “Hurricane Shakedown”, rowdy rockabilly with a Mysterians organ causing further disruption. It’s one minute, 52 seconds, so you’ll need to play it at least twice.
6 FLOATING POINTS Silurian Blue
Moving ever further away from his techno DJ roots, the latest Floating Points LP finds Sam Shepherd and crew recording their tremendous space jazz-rock in the Mojave desert. Dark side of the dune, anyone?
7 WAXAHATCHEE Silver
The Crutchfield indie-rock takeover of 2017 continues apace, as Allison’s Tourist In This Town is followed by Out In The Storm, the fourth album by twin sister Katie as Waxahatchee. A strong recalibration of ’90s college rock; play next to The Breeders for optimum fuzzpop satisfaction.
8 JAH WOBBLE & THE INVADERS OF THE HEART Public Image
Wobble’s latest, The Usual Suspects, acts as a kind of inventive musical memoir, as he revisits a bunch of his greatest hits from the past 40 years. Here, he takes the PiL classic, sands down its rough edges, and reinvents it in the loping worldbeat style of The Invaders Of The Heart.
9 JAMES ELKINGTON Make It Up
A habitué of Uncut CDs thanks to his work with Richard Thompson, Jeff Tweedy, Steve Gunn et al, Elkington steps into the spotlight with this song from his solo debut. The effortlessly fancy fingerpicking is a given; Elkington’s understated, warm vocals, and his Nick Drakeish songcraft are a striking bonus.
10 PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING Progress
After making their name with a quaint take on retro-futurism, PSB’s pulsating motorik-rock switches attention from the space race to the rise and fall of the South Wales mining industry. Take “Progress”, where old documentary samples are interwoven with the voice of Camera Obscura’s Tracyanne Campbell.
11 SHABAZZ PALACES Julian’s Dream (Ode To A Bad)
Recently cited by Kurt Wagner as a key influence on Lambchop’s digital makeover, the Palaces have two new LPs in the mix this month. “Julian’s Dream” comes from Quazarz Vs The Jealous Machines, and is a great entry point into the Seattle duo’s lysergic take on hip-hop.
12 LEE BAINS III & THE GLORY FIRES Underneath The Sheets Of White Noise
Alabama’s sensational Glory Fires might have perfected a hybrid of Drive-By Truckers and Hüsker Dü, but their epic new Youth Detention finds new Southern rock traditions to update – not least, here, the early days of REM, as Bains unleashes a Stipeian wordstream over heady, raw harmonies.
13 TELEVISION PERSONALITIES Stop And Smell The Roses
The core texts of Dan Treacy’s indie pioneers come back into circulation, as the first four TV Personalities albums resurface in our Archive section on p47. Here’s a poignant, psych marvel from ’84’s The Painted Word, as a lovelorn Treacy emotes over his own lo-fi wall-of-sound.
14 TRÄD, GRÄS OCH STENAR Kaffe Med Tarta (Coffee And Cake)
The Swedish psych legends have been around, in one form or another, for more or less 50 years, but this nonchalant jam comes from what is, sadly, their last album: two founder members died during its long gestation. Recommended for fans of late-’60s Grateful Dead and latterday Crazy Horse.
15 JUPITER & OKWESS Ofakombolo
Bad Seed Warren Ellis, alongside the more predictable figure of Damon Albarn, both feature on the latest album by Jean-Pierre “Jupiter” Bokondji, “rebel general” of Congolese music. Production, meanwhile, comes from MarcAntoine Moreau, whose similarly edgy, contemporary work with Songhoy Blues is a good model for the energy of this super-intense Kinshasa street music.
Lee Bains III